The temperatures have finally risen, and more people are getting outside. Instead of dealing with the traffic, you may opt for bike riding to and from work or school, and even as part of your recreational activities. While you are aware of your surroundings and ready to tackle the world on two wheels, it is important that you also know what steps to take to avoid any accidents while cycling this spring. A large majority of bike accidents are caused by drivers – more specifically, distracted drivers. While you cannot control the actions of these drivers, you can take steps to avoid being involved in an accident.
How to Avoid an Accident While on Your Bike
Hundreds of cyclists are killed each year in the United States, and thousands more are injured, due to collisions with motor vehicles. Drivers, as well as cyclists, need to be aware of the risks and do what they can to avoid collisions. Some things that you can do as a responsible cyclist include:
- Wear a properly fitting bicycle helmet each time you ride your bike. If you can, look for one that has a visor, as well as a reflector, so that you can increase your visibility at night. Helmets are one of the most effective tools for preventing traumatic brain injury – even in minor accidents.
- As a cyclist, you are still operating a vehicle – even if it does not have an engine. If you are using your “vehicle” on the road, you must obey all traffic signals and rules, as well as lane markings. Also, while riding on the street, you are required to go with the flow of traffic.
- Drivers are also required by law to share the road with cyclists, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are always on the lookout for them. Drivers must be courteous and provide cyclists with adequate space; they should look out for cyclists before opening their doors. If you are passing parked vehicles, be on the lookout for those who are waiting to pull out into traffic, as well as those who may open their door. If you can, give yourself enough space between your bike and the parked vehicle.
- Increase your visibility during the day and night. This means wearing bright clothes, or even adding reflective strips to your clothing and bike. Use a headlight on your bike for night riding, and always wear brightly colored clothes.
What if You Are Injured by a Vehicle?
If you are riding your bike in Chicago and are injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Motor vehicle operators are required to look out for cyclists and exercise caution on the road. When a driver causes an accident, due to negligence or inattention, he or she is considered liable under the law. To see if your claim is eligible for compensation, contact the expert personal injury team at Malman Law today. We offer free, no-obligation consultations. Schedule yours by filling out our online contact form with your questions.