Tips for Avoiding an Illinois Bike Accident

Illinios accident lawyer,  Illnois personal injury attorney,Now that the weather is warming up, many people may be anxious to get outside and enjoy the fresh spring air. Bicycling is not only a sport but also a common mode of transportation for citizens throughout Illinois. Since it does not use any gas, it is also considered to be environmentally friendly. Whether it is for exercise or getting to and from work, bicyclists can run the risk of getting into an accident. Due to their lack of protection and smaller size, if cars or trucks hit them, the consequences can be devastating. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 857 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2018. Even if they do not prove fatal, a bicycle accident can cause serious injuries that can have lasting effects. Although there are ways a bicyclist can avoid a crash, it is hard to control the actions of motorists. In some cases, a negligent driver may be held responsible for a bike accident.

Safety Matters

In order to avoid a bicycle accident, there are certain precautions a bike rider can take. A few of the most important safety measures include:

  1. Wear a helmet: Falling from a bike can cause a bike rider to suffer scrapes, bruising, lacerations, and broken bones. Studies show that if anyone hits their head on a hard surface such as pavement, it can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A helmet safeguards the head, neck, and skull by offering a layer of protection upon impact.
  2. Obey traffic laws: Bikers must follow the rules of the road and ride with the flow of traffic, not against. When riding a bike, they must put their left hand out to signal when turning left, and their right hand out to signal when turning right.
  3. Wear reflective apparel: To be noticed by other motorists or pedestrians on the road, it is important for riders to wear bright or reflective clothing, especially when traveling at night. This also includes reflectors or lights attached to the wheels or handlebars.
  4. Be aware of the surroundings: Bicyclists should only ride when they are alert and sober, never intoxicated or fatigued, just like drivers.
  5. Yield to pedestrians: When crossing at any type of intersection, whether a stop sign or stop light, bicyclists must allow pedestrians to pass first.

Common Causes of a Bike Collision

It can benefit a bicyclist to understand the common causes of accidents in order to take a more proactive and defensive approach to stay out of harm’s way. In many cases, a collision between a bicycle and automobile is due to the reckless or negligent actions of a motorist. Drivers are supposed to maintain an adequate distance between their vehicles and any bicyclists. Side-swipe accidents occur when the motorist does not give the bike rider enough room to pass, and the side of the vehicle strikes the bicyclist. Motorists should also check their side mirrors to see if any bicycle or vehicle is approaching prior to opening their door and exiting their vehicles. If a door unexpectedly opens and a biker cannot stop in time, running into it can cause the rider to be thrown from the bike. Drivers who are distracted or impaired may not notice bikes on the road and turn in front of them or rear-end them. This can make them lose control of their bike and cause them to crash.

Contact an Illinois Personal Injury Attorney

Bicycle accidents can cause catastrophic injuries to the rider, especially if the bicyclist is struck by a vehicle. If you or someone you know was hurt while riding a bike, you may have questions and concerns about seeking compensation for your damages. James A. Payonk Jr., Attorney at Law, has more than 30 years of experience in personal injury and criminal law cases. Our dedicated Orland Park, IL bicycle accident lawyers will guide you through the legal process of determining liability in your accident. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 708-966-2408.



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