Riding a bicycle is one of the best ways to save money on gas if you live and work in Chicago. It’s also a great way to exercise and stay in shape. But, riding a bicycle on the congested streets of the city can be disastrous for riders of any experience level.
If you enjoy riding a bicycle through the streets of Chicago, you should be aware of the dangers you might face. Some of the most common bike accidents can be avoided through preventative measures:
- Are you riding at a safe speed? Even though it is impossible for a bicycle rider to move at the speed of a motor vehicle, you still want to remain at a safe speed. Riding too fast can prevent you from stopping if a light changes quickly, if a pedestrian steps into the street near you, or if a vehicle cuts in front of you.
- Are you paying attention to the people around you? Inattention is a problem for bicycle riders just like it’s a problem for drivers. Bike riders can easily get lost in the changing colors of the trees, looking at buildings, watching the pedestrians stroll by, and even talking on their phones. Some of the most serious bicycle accidents occur when the driver or passenger of a parked car suddenly opens the door and hits a passing cyclist, or causes him/her to swerve into traffic. Make sure that your eyes are on the road, and that you keep at least one ear free from headphones so you can hear what’s happening around you.
- Are you following the rules of the road? Cyclists have to obey traffic rules, too. You have to stop at stop signs, yield to oncoming traffic, stop at red lights, yield to pedestrians and stay off of sidewalks. You should also be wearing a helmet, in case the worst comes to pass.
- Are you visible to those around you? Whether you tend to ride during the day or at night, it’s important to make yourself as visible as possible. This includes wearing reflective vests or apparel with reflective striping, having flashing lights on the front and rear of the bike, and even having a light on your helmet. Do anything possible to make yourself visible when riding a bicycle in Chicago.
When is someone else liable for the accident?
Others can be held liable for a bicycle accident when they fail to stop at a red light or stop sign, leading to a collision with you on a bicycle. Other examples include a vehicle hitting you from behind or swerving into the bike lane without looking. The sad truth is that many drivers don’t think they should have to share the road with cyclists, and that impatience can sometimes lead to collisions and erratic driving.
If you were hit by a car while riding your bike, or sustained injuries in some kind of bicycle accident, you’ll need an attorney who understand how to build a case on your behalf. The Chicago bike accident lawyers of Gainsberg Law, P.C. may be able to help. Please call us at 312-313-1621 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation.