According to The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), the city’s bike network has grown by 32% in the past four years. With increased bicycle traffic in the city, accidents are bound to happen. Besides infrastructure improvements, preventing Chicago bicycle accidents is a shared responsibility among cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers.
Lerner and Rowe’s Chicago injury attorneys offer some tips for pedestrians, drivers, and bicyclists to help prevent Chicago bicycle accidents.
How Pedestrians Can Prevent Chicago Bicycle Accidents
- Be aware of your surroundings: always stay alert and pay attention to your surroundings. Avoid distractions while walking, like using your phone or wearing headphones, as this can impair your ability to notice oncoming bicycles.
- Use designated pedestrian areas: stick to sidewalks, crosswalks, and pathways whenever possible to help prevent a pedestrian accident with a bike rider. These designated areas are there for a reason and provide a safe space away from bicycle traffic.
- Stay off bike lanes: avoid walking or standing in designated bike lanes. Stepping into them unexpectedly, or on purpose, increases the chances of a Chicago bicycle accident.
- Report hazardous situations: if you come across any hazardous conditions or areas where pedestrian safety is compromised, report them to the local authorities.
How Drivers Can Prevent Chicago Bicycle Accidents
- Don’t drive distracted: avoiding distractions while driving like texting, talking on the phone, eating, wearing headphones, or adjusting the radio is one of the most crucial components in preventing Chicago bicycle accidents. Pay attention to the road and your surroundings at all times, as it is easy to overlook bicycles.
- Respect the bicycle lane: many roads have designated bicycle lanes. Be mindful of cyclists on the road by staying out of these lanes. This will give bicyclists enough space to maneuver safely.
- Check blind spots: before changing lanes, turning, or opening car doors, check your blind spots. Bicycles may be harder to spot than other vehicles. Checking your blind spots is an easy way to prevent a car accident with a bicycle.
- Use turn signals: always use your turn signals well in advance to indicate your intentions to others on the road. This allows bicyclists to anticipate your actions and adjust accordingly.
- Maintain a safe distance: when following a bicycle, leave a safe distance. This provides you both with enough time and space to react to any unexpected situations.
- Pass carefully: if you need to pass a bicycle, do leave sufficient space between your vehicle and the cyclist, and only pass when it is safe to do so. Only pass on roads where it is legal. Ensure you have a clear view of oncoming traffic before passing.
- Be cautious at intersections: intersections are high-risk areas for bicycle accidents. Be mindful of cyclists who may be crossing or turning. Yield to them as you would to any other vehicle.
- Be mindful of children and inexperienced cyclists: both children and inexperienced cyclists may be less predictable and may make sudden maneuvers. Be extra cautious in areas with schools, parks, or residential neighborhoods.
What Bicyclists Can Do to Prevent Accidents
- Follow traffic rules: just like drivers, bicyclists should obey all traffic laws, including traffic signals, stop signs, and lane markings. Cyclists should also ride in the same direction as traffic and use designated bike lanes or paths.
- Be visible: wear brightly colored or reflective clothing during the day, and use lights and reflectors on your bicycle when riding at night or in low-light conditions to ensure you are visible to drivers and pedestrians.
- Use hand signals: use hand signals to indicate turns or lane changes. This helps drivers anticipate your actions and reduces the risk of collisions.
- Maintain your bicycle: regularly check your bicycle’s brakes, tires, and gears to ensure they are in good working condition. If your bicycle is well-maintained, you will be less likely to experience mechanical failures that could lead to accidents.
- Seek proper training: if you are new to cycling or want to improve your skills, a bicycle safety course can provide knowledge on safe cycling practices and maneuvering techniques to help prevent Chicago bicycle accidents.
Injured in a Bicycle Accident? Contact Lerner and Rowe
By pedestrians, drivers, and bicyclists following the safety tips mentioned above, everyone who uses the road can help prevent Chicago bicycle accidents. Even those who practice safety when walking, driving, or riding a bicycle can still find themselves injured by the negligence or recklessness of another party.
If you or a loved one have been severely injured in an accident through no fault of your own, you need a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer from Lerner and Rowe to help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and more.
Our lawyers have more than 240 years of combined experience winning maximum compensation for injury victims. Our attorneys have won more than $1-billion in the last 5 years for clients nationwide. Contact us today and begin your free, no obligation consultation.
The Chicago bicycle accident lawyers at Lerner and Rowe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 844-977-1900. You can also connect with us online by filling out this convenient form or connecting with one of our LiveChat agents.