Bicycle accidents and injuries to cyclists continue to be a problem on Chicago roads. It is important for all cyclists to stay aware of the common causes of crashes, so they might avoid such hazards whenever possible. No matter how careful you are, however, you can never control the conduct of drivers who might collide into you while you’re riding. If you suffer injuries, consult with a Chicago bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Below are five of the most common causes of bike crashes.
Both drivers and cyclists can become dangerously distracted for various reasons. Drivers often use smartphones, eat or drink in the car, or engage in other distracting activities while behind the wheel, which makes it easy to miss cyclists. In addition, cyclists might also be paying more attention these days to Apple watches or other fitness trackers, music apps, and more.
When a driver exceeds the speed limit, it will take them much longer to slow down or stop if a cyclist crosses their path. This is especially dangerous on streets that normally have slower traffic, and there is a greater chance there will be cyclists in the vicinity. Cyclists should also stay aware of speed – even though they don’t travel as quickly as cars do, excess speed can increase the risk of crashing.
There should always be three feet or more in between vehicles and bicycles, and some states mandate this distance in between drivers and cyclists in the same lane. If there is a bike lane, it can be safer to remain within the boundaries of that bike lane whenever possible. Cyclists should never trust that drivers will do the right thing and keep their distance, and the closer two vehicles are, the greater chance they will collide.
Cyclists have the right to share the road, and they also have the same responsibilities as any other vehicle operators on the road. They should know the rules that apply to bicycles and follow them, especially at intersections, when making turns, or when merging or changing lanes. However, even when a cyclist follows all the rules, they should pay close attention to surrounding traffic, as drivers might not spot cyclists who are turning at intersections or trying to merge.
Roads and streets are not the only places where bicycle accidents happen. Cyclists can get in accidents and suffer injuries in parking lots, driveways, or on sidewalks. These are smaller locations with less room for cyclists to swerve and avoid obstacles or collisions. Never assume you are safe just because you are riding off the main road.
At The Horwitz Law Group, we know there are many causes of bicycle accidents that are not the fault of a cyclist. We work to seek compensation for injured cyclists from the drivers or other parties that cause their injuries. Contact us for a free case evaluation to discuss a possible case.
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