Since Chicago is a very bike-friendly city, many people ride their bike to work and other places. While riding a bike can help you stay in good shape and help the environment, it can also be dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken. Bicyclists can sustain serious injuries when they get into accidents with motorists.
Here are some tips to reduce the risk of getting into a bicycle accident as explained by our friends at Disparti Law Group.
One of the biggest dangers for bicyclists are car doors. When bicyclists ride along parked cars, a driver may unexpectedly open the car doors and hit the bicyclists. That is you must be extra careful when riding next to parked cars. Do not drive too closely to parked cars. If you must squeeze through a door zone, slow down and proceed with caution.
Bicyclists have a higher chance of getting into an accident during poor weather conditions, like rain and snow. These weather conditions can lower visibility and make the roads slippery. As such, you will want to avoid riding in these conditions whenever possible.
Motorists are not the only ones who need to avoid distractions. It is also very important for bicyclists to keep their entire attention on the road ahead. When you are riding your bicycle, do not text on your smartphone, listen to music through headphones or give into other distractions. If youre distracted, you have a higher chance of getting into an accident.
Bicyclists are expected to obey the same traffic laws as motorists. Make complete stops at stop signs and stop lights, use the proper turn signals and ride in the direction of traffic. If you get into an accident by not following traffic laws, you may be found liable.
Bicycles are much smaller than vehicles, so they can be more difficult to see. That is why you should make yourself as visible as possible. Try to wear bright-colored clothes, especially if you ride at night. You should also have working headlights when riding in the dark. Make eye contact with motorists when you plan to change lanes or make a turn.
Riding a bicycle drunk can be just as dangerous as operating a vehicle drunk. If you have had too much to drink, you may lose focus and have lower reaction times, increasing your risk of getting into a collision.
Before you get on your bicycle, put a helmet on your head. Although wearing a helmet might not be able to prevent a bicycle accident, it can help you avoid severe head injuries in the event of an accident. It could mean the difference from sustaining a minor concussion to a life-threatening traumatic brain injury.
If you have been hurt in a bicycle accident, you should schedule a consultation with a bicycle accident attorney to talk about your case in detail.