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|Motorcycle Traffic Accident
Motorcyclist fatalities have continued to increase over the last decade, reaching 5,154 in 2007. In fact,
deaths in almost all other categories have gone down over the last ten years while the number of motorcycle
fatalities have steadily increased.
These alarming trends illustrate the specific need for qualified experts in the field of motorcycle traffic
Motorcycle accidents require a unique approach from reconstructionists due to their mechanical
composition. Motorcycles stop, accelerate and turn in a distinctly different manner than passenger cars or
other four-wheel vehicles. Motorcycles generally rely on motion to maintain stability and will often introduce a
lean and counter-steering tactic when turning.
Motorcycle riders are also at a substantially greater risk of being injured if involved in a traffic crash as
opposed to traditional motorists. Motorcyclists do not generally have the benefit of safety belts or
supplemental restraint systems, such as airbags, to protect them.
Many states, such as Illinois, do not require the use of a helmet when operating a motorcycle. And, even with
the added protection that helmets provide, about 1 out of every 5 motorcycle accidents result in head or neck
injuries to the motorcyclist.
Accident reconstruction experts are often concerned with stopping ability or reactionary measured employed
by the motorcyclist. Motorcycles are unique, in that they can employ a variety of braking alternatives. Riders
can utilize a front brake, rear brake, or combination thereof. Motorcycles can even be equipped with anti-lock
The type of brake(s) utilized by the motorcyclist will determine its drag factor, or stopping ability. Specific
braking responses, such as rear wheel only, are characterized by certain types of skid marks, while panic
front wheel braking often induces an abrupt fall and slide.
In addition to frictional applications, Crash Data Services, LLC has experts experienced in the management
of all motorcycle accident reconstruction techniques.
In 2008, NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and
Analysis published an annual report detailing many
of the trends in traffic accidents. Among these was
the alarming trend for motorcyclists to be involved in
more fatal traffic crashes for a tenth consecutive
year. To read NHTSA's publication, click here.
Many states, including Ilinois, have special
provisions governing the licensing of motorcyclists.
Some other states do not require a special
classification to operate a motorcycle. Likewise, only
some states require secondary knowledge
competency or motorcycle skills testing to be
licensed. To read the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's
data on specific state requirements, please click
In 2009, the Illinois Secretary of State published a
Motorcycle Operator Manual specifically geared
toward developing motorcyclist skill and safety. To
view this guide, please click here.
To read the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's operator
manual, click here.
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opinion and should not be construed as such. The use of this site does not create a contractor/client relationship with any employee of Crash Data Services, LLC. Each investigation is different. Case
results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case. The results of any investigation/reconstruction do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case undertaken by Crash Data Services,
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