Bicycle Accidents - Bicycle Road Safety
According to the Department of Transportation, in 2008 over 51,000 bicyclists were injured and 716 died in traffic accidents. In Chicago and Cook County, there are hundreds of miles of bike lanes on our public roadways and highways. Before riding your bike on the road, take some basic precautions in safety to minimize the risks associated with riding bikes in and around Chicago, Cook County and surrounding areas in Illinois:
Wear a helmet . Head injuries are by far the leading cause of death as a result of bicycling accidents. Wearing a bicycle helmet significantly reduces the chances of suffering a severe head injury or death in a bicycle incident.
Make yourself visible . Always be sure that you have installed head and tail lights on your bicycle and reflective materials attached to the rear of the bike. Also, it’s important to wear colorful clothing to increase the chances that passing motorists, trucks and other vehicles see you and will acknowledge your presence.
Always ride with the flow of traffic . Cyclists are required to follow Illinois law the same as any other motorist on streets, roads and highways. In riding a bike, stay to the right of traffic to reduce the risk of rear-end or sideswipe accidents. Always use hand signals to alert motorists when turning or stopping. Cyclists who do ride with the flow of motorist traffic reduce the risk of accidents, avoiding contact with you.
Always carry identification . All cyclists when out and about should be sure to carry with them some form of identification. Identification could be lodged inside the rim of your helmet or in a saddlebag or on your person. There are bracelets that identify wearers that are available on a website at: http://www.roadid.com.
Ride with another person . Whenever it is possible, it is safer to be riding with a companion. The mere fact that there is more than one bicyclist on the roadway increases visibility. This would be helpful for other motorists in order to see riders and to acknowledge their presence. This makes riding safer. In addition, if there is a problem with one of the bikes, the other companion can help with the repair.
For more and additional information on bicycle traffic safety, visit the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration website; www.nhtsa.gov.
Chicago has just this June 2015 opened the 606 Trail, which is 2.7 miles of parkway, including bike trails, along and above several Chicago neighborhoods. This new park was built on the existing train track of the Bloomingdale Line. The 606 Trail has brought open space to the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago, including the neighboring areas of Humboldt Park, Bucktown and Wicker. This is an ideal place ride bicycles, but poses some of the same possible dangers that are present on Cook County Forest Preserve trails, Lincoln Park trails, the many other Chicago Park District trails and street riding.
Bicycle safety depends on the bicyclist. To be safe on trails and on the streets and roadways, ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between parked cars. Use arm signals to tell motorists when you are turning or changing lanes. Check behind before turning or changing lanes. Always make yourself visible to other motorists. Make sure your front light is working and you have reflectors in place. Don’t ride on sidewalks. Try to anticipate what others will do, including pedestrians. Make eye contact with motorists. Before riding, make sure your tires have the correct amount of air pressure, the brakes are working correctly, the chain is running smoothly and carry repair tools and supplies as well as plenty of water. These precautions should be helpful in preventing bike injuries.
If you or someone you know or love has been involved in a bicycle accident in Illinois, please call us for an immediate free consultation. Robert Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Chicago and Illinois bicycle accident cases for more than 40 years.
Kreisman Law Offices has prevailed in trials and settlements in Chicago, Illinois and surrounding areas and successfully resolved cases for severely injured clients for over these many years.
With our years of experience in trying and settling bicycle accident cases, Kreisman Law Offices provides the best possible services to our clients and have achieved unsurpassed results. Our service is unmatched. Please call us 24 hours a day at (312) 346-0045 or toll free (800) 583-8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or complete a contact form online. There is no charge for a consultation that will include an evaluation of your case, assessment of your damages such as lost wages, medical and hospital expenses, past and future pain and suffering, loss of normal life, disfigurement and wrongful death.