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How to Avoid Bicycle Accident Injuries

Posted on in Personal Injury Attorney

Arlington Heights bicycle accident lawyer

Riding a bicycle is often seen as a nice way to spend the day, especially in the summer. Some see it as their daily workout, while others ride leisurely to enjoy the scenery. Although riding bicycles can be a fun family activity, it can also be extremely dangerous. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a total of 777 bicyclists were killed in accidents with motor vehicles in 2017 throughout the United States. Illinois has taken action to try to make riding a bike safer, with separate lanes reserved for cyclists and trails set apart from the cars and trucks on the roadway. Unfortunately, bicyclists continue to get hurt.

Types of Accidents and Safety Tips

Bicyclists can encounter numerous dangerous situations, especially when riding on busy roadways in Chicago. The following are common scenarios that bike riders may run into:

  1. Dooring: Most bike lanes are set on the side of the road in an attempt to protect cyclists from being placed in the center of traffic. However, riding next to parked cars can be equally dangerous. As people open their doors to exit their vehicles, the suddenness of the action can cause bicyclists to run right into the car door. This will hurt both the cyclist and the driver in addition to damaging the car door. The best way to avoid this collision is to ride farther away from the parked vehicles. While you may be closer to oncoming traffic, moving drivers will be able to see you better than those who are parked.

  2. Wrong Way Riding: Many cyclists will ride against the natural flow of traffic, thinking that they will avoid being hit, since they can see the drivers coming toward them. However, this is not the safest way to travel. Any cars that are turning right are likely to hit cyclists who are going against traffic, and cars that are coming toward a bike rider move much faster than those passing from behind. It is imperative that cyclists ride with traffic, going in the same direction, to avoid such accidents.

  3. Getting Rear-Ended: Most cyclists will stay as far to the right as possible, going so far as weaving in and out of free parking spots along the side of the road. While this may allow bicyclists to momentarily get out of the way of moving traffic, it also puts them directly into harm’s way when they have to go around a parked car. Oncoming traffic may not be able to anticipate the room needed to let a cyclist pass by the parked car, increasing the chances of striking a bicycle from behind. The best way to avoid this situation is to keep your riding path consistent, traveling in a straight line on the outside of parked vehicles.

Contact a Chicago Bicycle Accident Injury Attorney

Even when cyclists act as safely as possible, they may be unable to avoid being struck by a car or truck. In many cases, these collisions occur because of the negligence of drivers, including driving while distracted or failing to respect a bicycle's right of way. Bike accidents that involve vehicles often result in serious and sometimes fatal injuries for the cyclist. The lack of protection for the bike rider can result in permanent injuries that can be life-altering. At Newland & Newland, LLP, we have secured millions of dollars in favorable verdicts and settlements for our clients. If you have been in a bike accident, contact our experienced Cook County personal injury lawyers at 847-797-8000 for a free consultation.

Sources:

https://bicyclesafe.com/

https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/bicyclists

https://fortifiedbike.com/pages/the-most-common-serious-bike-accidents-and-how-to-avoid-them

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