Our Chicago accident lawyers read an article on OlneyDailyMail.com that reported a car-bicycle collision that resulted in the death of a bicyclist. According to the article, the accident happened early in the morning when a 19-year-old driver who was changing the radio struck the bicyclist. The bicyclist was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. The teen driver was, “cited on a charge of failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.”
With the warmer weather temperatures, it is inevitable that more bicyclists and pedestrians will be on the road. An Illinois bicycle accident lawyer at our firm thought that it would be beneficial to go over some basic tips on how to avoid being the victim or cause of a car-bicycle collision. According to BicycleSafe.com, bicyclists should avoid busy streets if you can and remember to not take the same congested routes that cars do. Taking streets that have a slower speed limit and fewer cars reduces the chance being hit. Bicyclists should also avoid riding at night, but if you do, you should have rear end blinkers or headlights, as well as reflective gear to promote visibility. Protective gear, such as helmets, should also always be worn.
Many bikers also don’t signal their turns. Using arm and hand signals to point out which way you are turning can let cars behind you or nearby knows your route. Bikers often use headphones for MP3 players or phones, but driving distracted on a bike can be just as dangerous, if not more, as driving distracted in a car. Headphones can also prevent you from hearing emergency signals or horn, which can be extremely dangerous. Another useful tip is to ride your bike as if you were invisible. This means that you should ride in a way that motorists will not be able to hit you even if they cannot see you for some reason.
Motorists can also play a role in reducing car-bicycle collisions. By avoiding distractions and staying alert and aware while driving, drivers are more likely to see everyone on the road. Drivers who do see bicyclists could also try to communicate with them, by using eye contact, turn signals, or even your horn should it come to that. Cars should also be extra careful near sidewalks and intersections because it can be most difficult to see bikes in these places, in addition to always checking their blind spot before merging or turning. Parked cars should also be careful of when they open their doors, because a bicyclist could be right in the path of the swung open door.
Our Chicago bicycle accident attorneys encourage bicyclists and motorists to avoid distractions, and pay attention to the road. When it is dark or there is low visibility, drivers and bicyclists should both make sure that they are seen through the use of lights and signals. Furthermore, we hope they bicyclists and drivers alike will take these tips seriously and implement them in order to avoid being in an accident.