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Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Illinois

Motorcycle accident statistics, man standing on motorcycle wearing safety gear, Disparti Law GroupThe bitter winter is over and the Chicago summer has finally begun. As some flock to the beach, others choose the open road. For riders, there’s nothing better than hopping on a motorcycle and riding through the beautiful streets of Chicago or any of the other beautiful cities of Illinois.

Unfortunately, not all motorcycle rides end safely. Motorcycle accidents are more likely to result in injuries and even death than other motor vehicle accidents. Several factors may contribute to this but understanding motorcycle accident statistics may help riders know how to stay safe. And at Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, we want everyone to make it home unharmed.

In This Article:

National Motorcycle Accident Fatality Statistics

In the United States, motorcycles make up 3 percent of all registered vehicles on the road. In 2020, the fatality rate for motorcycle accidents was 6 times the fatality rate for car passengers. Motorcyclists also had a higher chance of being injured than car or light-truck occupants.

Sadly, the number of motorcycle accident fatalities increased in 2020 from 5,044 in 2019 to 5,579. This is an 11 percent increase.

Ninety-four percent of the fatal motorcycle fatalities that year were motorcycle riders compared to the six percent that were motorcycle passengers.

Motorcycle License

Riding with a valid motorcycle license is important is it requires the rider to know and understand important safety laws intended to help prevent motorcycle accidents. Unsurprisingly, 36 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents involved riders without a valid motorcycle license.

Universal Helmet Laws

The use of a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet is imperative to motorcycle safety. While many states have universal helmet laws, the United States does not. States that did not have universal motorcycle helmet laws saw 57% of motorcycle fatalities were riders who were not wearing a helmet. This is compared to 11 percent in states that did have helmet laws.

Illinois Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Illinois has a set of unique hazards that are specific to the state. For example, Illinois is one of the few states that does not have a universal helmet law. Consider the following motorcycle accident statistics according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

  • In 2021, 1.1% of all motor vehicle crashes involved motorcycles as well as 13.8% of all fatal crashes, and 3.9% of all injury crashes.
  • Serious injuries are referred to as a-injuries. Out of the 2,544 motorcyclists injured in 2021, 905 motorcycle accidents resulted in a-injuries and 174 resulted in fatalities.

Location and Time of Day of Motorcycle Accidents

A major factor that can affect the likelihood of a motorcycle accident is the time of day and location of the crash. Here are a few important motorcycle accident statistics to keep in mind this summer.

  • 61 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes occurred in urban areas while 39 percent happen in rural areas.
  • 97 percent of motorcycle accident deaths occurred in clear or slightly cloudy conditions, 2 percent in rain conditions, and 1 percent in sleet, snow, or fog conditions.
  • More motorcycle fatalities occur at non-intersection locations compared to intersections.
  • 57 percent occurred in daylight compared to 37 percent that occurred after the sun went down.
  • Nearly half of the motorcycle crashes that resulted in fatalities occurred during the weekend versus the weekday.
  • 8 percent of all fatal crashes involving a motorcycle were on interstate compared to 92 percent on non-interstate roads.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents and Fatalities

Motorcycle fatalities most commonly occur when the rider is struck from behind. This can happen if the driver behind them misjudged the speed of the bike or simply did not see the bike in front of them.

Other common causes of motorcycle accidents are:

  • distracted driving
  • alcohol impairment
  • illegal lane changes (i.e. lane splitting)
  • blind spots
  • speeding
  • lack of motorcycle helmet use

Why Are Motorcycles More Dangerous?

It’s undeniable. Motorcycles are more dangerous than other types of motor vehicles. To have a safe ride, motorcyclists mustn’t downplay this reality. Here are a few reasons why motorcycles are inherently more dangerous.

Smaller in Size

Motorcycles are smaller in size compared to most other motor vehicles. While some may be attracted to this feature, it also creates a safety hazard for riders. Since motorcycles are smaller, they can be much harder to spot on the road and it’s easy for motorcycle riders to find themselves in another driver’s blind spot. This is a common cause of motorcycle accidents.


Due to the light-weightiness of a motorcycle, it’s easy to quickly reach faster speeds. This feature is often something that draws people to riding a motorcycle as it’s easier to maneuver through traffic and can help reduce commuting time. However, it’s easy for riders to engage in speeding increasing their risk of getting in a motorcycle crash.


Most people do not ride motorcycles out of practicality. Motorcycles are just… fun. They’re faster and smaller in size making it easy for riders to make quick maneuvers. But as a result, it may be easy for some motorcycle riders to engage in reckless behaviors, especially if they are unlicensed or have not undergone a safety course.

Less Protection/Stability

In an accident, car passengers and truck passengers have the benefit of several protections around them including airbags, seatbelts, and a metal frame designed to stand up in an accident. Motorcyclists do not have this luxury. As a result, motorcycle accident victims often suffer more severe injuries than other motorists.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are often the most common motorcycle accident injuries to occur. Even though Illinois does not have a universal helmet law, it is STRONGLY ADVISED that you wear a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet every time you ride. This simple safety step can greatly decrease the likelihood of a TBI if you’re in a motorcycle accident and could even save your life.

Other common motorcycle accident injuries include:

  • Spine and neck injuries
  • Broken bones in arms and legs
  • Road rash
  • Internal bleeding

How to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Illinois

Knowing the dangers of riding a motorcycle shouldn’t keep you from doing the thing you love. If you or someone you love is in a motorcycle accident, you may be owed compensation if another party’s negligence lead to the accident. As a victim of a motorcycle crash, you can file a motorcycle accident claim to receive compensation for any injuries or property damage.

Don’t let the insurance companies bully you into receiving less than you are owed. Consider contacting a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer at Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers. We are actively supporting motorcycle safety and have the knowledge and expertise to win.

Contact us today at (312) 600-6000 for a FREE case review and see why thousands say… Larry Wins!

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The Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers is one of the most successful law firms serving the greater Chicago and Tampa areas. As the leader in Injury, Disability, Workers’ Comp, and Employment Law, with more than $1 Billion in recoveries, The Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers has been named One of the Most Influential Law Firms in America by Trial Lawyer Magazine.

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