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.
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.
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.
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.
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.