With the popularity of sport bikes, Harley Davidson motorcycles, and custom Choppers, there has been an increase in the number of people hitting the open road. Unfortunately accidents that involve motorcycles often result in serious life altering injuries, to even death. Motorcycle riders are vulnerable to many road hazards, weather, poorly maintained roadways, and other drivers who are not paying attention.

However, the biggest threat to motorcycle enthusiasts involve other motor vehicles they encounter on the roadway. Another driver’s failure to see you on your motorcycle is perhaps the biggest cause of serious injury, even death faced by motorcycle enthusiasts today.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, the latest statistics gathered in 2004 show that approximately 1% of all accidents that occurred on Illinois roadways involve motorcycles. In 2004 there were 433,035 crashes on Illinois roadways and 4,162 of those involved motorcycles. Of all the traffic accident fatalities 11.06%, or 157, of all traffic fatalities involved motorcycle riders or their passengers. Not surprising, of the 157 motorcycle-related fatalities, 93%, or 146, were the motorcycle drivers and 7%, or 11, were passengers. Since the majority of motorcycle operators are male, it is not surprising to find out that 92.8%, or 3,888, of the 4,190 riders of motorcycles that were involved in collisions were male. The motorcycle riders aged 21 to 34 were involved in 30% of the motorcycle accidents.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation statistics, approximately 28.1% of all the motorcycle drivers and their passengers wear helmets. The Illinois Department of Transportation notes that excessive speed was a factor in 14% of all the crashes involving motorcycles, whereas, in comparison, excessive speed was only a factor in 10.8% of all the other vehicle collisions that did not involve motorcycles. The statistics revealed that7% of the motorcycle crashes involved colliding into fixed objects, whereas, by comparison, only 3.4% of the non-motorcycle vehicle crashes involve colliding into fixed objects.

It may be surprising to learn that 43.7% of all motorcycle-related crashes were single-vehicle incidents involving the motorcycle rider and no other vehicle. Also interesting is the fact that 11.6% of all the motorcycle crashes involved a vehicle making a left-hand turn in front of a motorcyclist.