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Articles Tagged with bicycle injury attorneys

When it comes to avoiding a bicycle accident in Chicago, observing traffic laws and basic safety often isn’t enough. It’s important to stay alert for erratic behavior among the other people on the road. To stay safe, our team of bicycle injury attorneys offers this list of ways to spot potentially dangerous drivers.

1. Fit Your Helmet

Bike helmets are necessary – and the law – but the wrong helmet can obscure your peripheral vision. Check with store staff about getting the right size helmet and wearing it properly.

2. Ride With Traffic

Although this means you’ll have the nearest cars approaching you from behind, it gives you the greatest possible warning for oncoming vehicles – the most dangerous kinds of collision.

3. Look for What Doesn’t Fit

Drunk, texting, or otherwise irresponsible drivers move differently from the cars around them. Watch such vehicles carefully, and give them a wide berth.

4. Leave Yourself Some Room

Don’t get caught between a car and a guardrail, wall or parked truck. Only enter narrow, confined spaces when you won’t have to share them.

5. Watch for Turns

Turning cars are on the lookout for other cars, and might miss your bike. Consider any car approaching or stopped at a nearby corner to be a potential threat.

6. Ride Forward at Stops

Creep ahead of the lead car in line at any red light. If you stay back, you’ll be invisible to cars on the opposite side of the line.

7. Know Your Routes

It’s your right to cycle where you want, but be smart and choose routes that offer wide, slow streets. There’s a time to prove a point, but potential life-threatening collisions aren’t one of them.

8. Take Up the Lane

If speed allows, ride in the middle of the lane as if you were in a car or on a motorcycle. This maximizes your maneuvering room and makes drivers more likely to see you. If traffic on the road is too fast for you to keep up, consider a different road.

Illinois Department of Transportation statistics report 1,700 to 2,000 bicycle crashes each year, of which 17 were fatal in 2009. Many a Chicago bicycle accident is simply that: unlucky circumstances claiming a victim. Others, though, were the direct result of driver error. One of the best ways to protect yourself from that error is to understand the top causes of bicycle-motor vehicle collisions.

Improper Pull-Outs

Drivers backing or fronting out of a parking spot or driveway may be looking for cars, but won’t be watching the sidewalks. If they miss you, it’s possible you won’t miss them as they pull into the path of your bike. Best defense: ride in the bike or car lane, where drivers are looking for you.

Doorings

Few drivers really look around before opening their door after parking. If they’re parked along the street, this could mean a close, personal meeting with their car door. Best defense: give parking cars a wide berth.

Turning Accidents

Especially common on right turns on a red light, the driver avoids cars but doesn’t look to the right for incoming bicycles – until the bike accident injures the cyclist. Best defense: slow at intersections, and watch all cars that are braking or signaling.

Failure to Yield

Cars are supposed to yield to bikes just like pedestrians, but they don’t always do this. Failure to yield is often one of the easiest cases to prove in a bicycle accident lawsuit. Best defense: always check for oncoming cars, even when you have right-of-way.

Driving Impaired

Whether its driving drunk, using drugs or texting behind the wheel, anything that impairs a driver’s attention, decision-making or motor function is a hazard to everybody else on the road. Best Defense: watch erratic vehicles carefully.

Chicago Bike Injury Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been hurt in bike crash in the greater Chicago area, you may be entitled to damages beyond an insurance company’s initial settlement offer. Our team of bicycle injury attorneys has the experience and knowledge to maximize your claim.