One of the most common and dangerous accidents for bicyclists is being hit by a driver making a left turn. Although the law in Illinois and most other states clearly defines when motorists must yield to oncoming cyclists when making a left-hand turn, it is still one of the more frequent bicycle traffic accidents. Whether motorists just do not see the cyclist, are distracted or are indifferent, when they cause these left turn accidents, it can seriously injure or even kill the unsuspecting cyclist.
If you were injured in a Chicago bike accident involving a vehicle making a left-hand turn there is a strong possibility that the other party is at fault. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has experience representing bicyclists injured in accident involving vehicles making left-turns. Complete our on-line intake form for a free review of your case and begin the process of getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Left Turn Accidents Involving Cyclists Too Common
Left turn accidents involving motorists and bicycles, pedestrians and even motorcycles are one of the most common and deadly accidents there are. The frustrating factor is that in most of these instances, the two-wheeled vehicle or pedestrian clearly has the right-of-way, yet drivers still fail to yield. In a 10-year study done in Long Beach, California on bicycle traffic accidents, 63% of driver-caused accidents were either failing to yield, turning accidents or both.
For drivers, the solution is simple: look carefully before making a left hand turn. While bicycles may be smaller, they are not invisible. Drivers need to look not only at the lanes of traffic heading toward them, they also need to check the shoulder or bike lane for oncoming bicyclists that are approaching the intersection. Just taking the time to double check for bicycles can prevent the driver from turning in front of a bicycle crossing the intersection, or worse, hitting the bicyclist straight on when making the turn.
What Cyclists Can Do To Prevent Left Turn Accidents
Although most left turn accidents are not the fault of the bicyclist, no one wants to be injured in a severe car crash. Cyclist can do their part to defensively prevent left turn accidents by following a few simple steps when out riding on the roads.
- Wear bright clothing or gear. Cyclists should always be wearing bright clothing when riding on the roads and reflective clothing at night. This can increase their visibility to drivers, helping prevent left turn and other traffic accidents.
- Slow down at intersections. When approaching an intersection, reducing speed gives cyclists a better chance of being able to stop if needed.
- Check for turning vehicles. At intersections, cyclists should check the closest oncoming lane for turning vehicles. Moving into the closest traffic lane if possible can improve your visibility to the turning driver.
Unfortunately, there is no way for a cyclist to prevent all left turn accidents, even when they are proactively looking out for their own safety. When these accidents happen, because of the nature of the accident, there is a good chance that they may sustain injuries. Having an experienced Chicago bicycle injury attorney on their side can make a big difference when it comes to obtaining fair compensation for these injuries. Having someone that can negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or even bring the case to trial if necessary can garner a larger monetary award for medical bills, lost income and other expenses caused by the accident.
Learn More About Bicyclists Injured By Left-Turning Vehicles