Our nation’s roads have often proven dangerous for bicyclists in recent years. Each year, more than 900 bike riders are killed in tragic accidents, and with gas prices on the rise, bicycle traffic is only expected to increase this summer.
Bicyclists typically have fewer physical protections than motor vehicle occupants, and accidents involving a high-speed collision with a car or truck can have especially severe consequences. However, bicyclists do have legal rights in Illinois, including the right to pursue compensation if they are injured due to another person’s negligence.
Driver Negligence in Bicycle Accidents
In many serious bike crashes, fault lies primarily or entirely with the driver of a motor vehicle that collided with the bicyclist. Some driver behaviors that can constitute negligence include:
- Distracted driving, whether due to cell phone use or other reasons, which prevents a driver from seeing a bicyclist until it is too late to avoid a collision.
- Speeding, especially in residential areas and other places where bicycle travel is common.
- Failing to give bicyclists enough space. It is important to allow riders the space they need to operate safely in traffic.
- Misjudging a bicyclist’s speed. This is especially common at intersections, where a driver may turn left or right into the path of an approaching bicycle.
- Drunk driving, which impairs a driver’s coordination and judgment
If you are injured by a driver while riding your bike, you should work with an attorney to look for evidence of these behaviors that can help you build your case for compensation from the at-fault party.
Avoiding Bicycle Accidents
Illinois bicyclists can also take steps to lower the risk of being in an accident, or of being subject to claims of contributory negligence in a personal injury case. Important safety measures include wearing a helmet and other protective equipment, using lights and reflectors to increase visibility, and avoiding biking while distracted or under the influence of alcohol. Bicyclists should also make sure to follow all Illinois traffic laws regarding their use of the road, including riding in the direction of traffic and staying close to the right side of the road as much as possible.
Contact a Rolling Meadows Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bicyclists who are injured in a collision with a motor vehicle can benefit from the services of an experienced Cook County personal injury lawyer to help them obtain as much compensation as possible for their medical expenses and any other damages. For a free consultation on your case, contact [[title]] by calling [[phone]].