Willens Law Offices Articles How Common is Riding a Motorcycle Under the Influence?

How Common is Riding a Motorcycle Under the Influence?

By Matthew Willens  Oct. 19, 2015 10:47a

Many accidents in Illinois occur due to drunk driving involving motorcyclists. Prevalence of intoxicated motorcycle riding is a serious problem in Illinois and many other states in the United States. A report titled 2012 Motorcycle Fatalities released by StartSeeingMotorcycles.org collated information about alcohol impaired motorcycle riding. Let's take a look at some key figures.

  • Forty two percent of the total 141 motorcyclist deaths in 2012 or 59 riders had been drinking at the time of the accident. They had BAC results of between 0.01 and 0.30, and an average BAC of 0.14. Forty seven out of the 59 people (or 80 percent) had a BAC level of 0.08 or higher.

  • Of the 141 motorcycles killed, those in the age group of 30 to 44 years experienced a higher rate of alcohol-related crash involvement, compared to those in other age groups. A positive BAC was found among 52 percent of the dead drivers in the age group of 30 to 44 years, 37 percent in the age group of 29 and younger, and 37 percent in the age group of 45 and older. Of the killed drunk drivers in the age group of 30 to 44 years, 39 percent had a BAC of 0.08 or higher.

Other statistics available for Illinois also point out to the prevalence of alcohol-impaired motorcycle riding. In 2012, motorcyclists accounted for around 14.7 percent of the alcohol related road accidents, says a report titled 2012 Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics.

In a report titled Impaired Driving, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies three groups that are more likely to drive under the influence of alcohol. Those groups are as follows.

  • Young drivers
  • Motorcyclists
  • Drivers with a history of impaired (DWI) convictions

The CDC report provides several statistics, estimates and analysis about motorcycle fatalities such as of all the motorcyclists killed in fatal accidents in 2012, 29 percent had BACs of 0.08% or higher.

How Alcohol Affects a Motorcycle Rider's Ability to Drive

Riding any vehicle, including a motorcycle, after drinking could be dangerous. Alcohol seriously impacts a driver's ability to ride a motorcycle. A report tilted Effects of Blood Alcohol Concentration by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took attempt to analyze how different blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels impact a person's driving ability differently. Even though the statistics provided in the CDC report are meant for car drivers, most of the facts are applicable to motorcyclists as well. The report describes the driving behaviors of drivers with different BAC level. For instance, a driver with a BAC of 0.15 percent may experience significant impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving task, and in necessary auditory and visual information processing. It is also said that a person with a BAC of 0.15 percent may experience certain physical effects, such as "major loss of balance." Not to mention, this will affect the person's ability to drive safely.

Need to know more about your legal rights? Get in touch with a competent Chicago auto accident lawyerat Willens Law Offices. We have a proven track record of helping Illinois injury victims get the compensation they are entitled to. Call (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation.

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