Road Rage Can Lead to Bike Accidents
With the fast pace of the Chicago area, residents and commuters of this city find themselves in a rush. Some are convinced that they can squeeze extra time into the day by reducing commuting times. And they do this through the use of aggressive or reckless driving techniques.
However, this strategy fails more often than not as motorists do not arrive at their destinations more quickly. Further, this style of driving significantly increases the odds that a car accident or bike crash will take place.
Bicyclists in Chicago face an unusually high risk of injury in the event they are involved in a crash. This is regardless of whether it is a collision between a bicycle and car, or a bicycle and a truck, bus or motorcycle. There is nothing protecting a cyclist's body from the force of an impact with a vehicle, the ground, the bicycle, or another fixed object. Therefore, a cyclist is likely to sustain injuries in response.
In fact, in 2018 there were 2,532 bicycle accidents in the State of Illinois. Of those, 24 collisions were fatal and 2,338 crashes caused injuries. Just under 200 collisions resulted in no injury. Statistically, about 92 percent of all bicycle crashes resulted in physical injuries or deaths in 2018, while less than 30 percent of automobile collisions had the same result.
Chicago Road Rage Bicycle Collisions
With bicyclists at such a high risk for injuries when collisions take place, all motorists should exercise due caution whenever a rider is present. After all, Illinois law protects the rights of cyclists to ride in traffic and obey the rules of the road. Failing to act in a reasonably safe manner for cyclists may leave a motorist facing a traffic or even criminal charge. This can lead to punishments from the loss of a driver's license to fines and fees and even incarceration.
However, incidents involving road rage and bicyclists are increasing as the years pass. This can lead to extremely hazardous conditions for these riders - the opposite of what promotes safety for all.
Road rage is such a common emotion expressed towards bicycles that it has spurred a new name, "bike rage." This rage can manifest itself on any type of driving surface where cyclists and motorists mix. But it is increasingly common in the Loop, Lincoln Park, Wrigleyville, and on roads used heavily by commuters.
Typically, road rage is defined as violent anger that stems from traffic conditions, whether that is congestion, construction, or simply the habits of another motorist. In many states, road rage is seen as an escalation of aggressive driving tactics when those tactics lead to a physical assault.
Coping with Road Rage Incidents Involving Bicycles
When it comes to cyclists, road rage may affect those driving in a motor vehicle or those on another bicycle. Regardless, it is the duty of every traveler to keep emotions in check and to prevent any frustration from increasing to a dangerous situation.
If you feel angry, do your best to calm yourself down. Take a few deep breaths and think about the task at hand. Your goal should be to drive in a manner that keeps you and everyone else on the road safe. Put the frustrating incident into perspective. Remind yourself that as long as you are unhurt, you can continue moving about your day.
How to Avoid a Road Rage Accident
If another driver is exhibiting signs of road rage and is becoming a threat to your safety, do not engage. Instead, it is recommended that you:
- Switch lanes, exit a roadway, or otherwise avoid the motorist entirely
- Do not act aggressively
- Call the police and inform them of the situation
- Avoid trying to settle a dispute with an enraged driver or motorist on your own. Doing so may lead to a confrontation or even a violent assault
Know Your Rights in Illinois
If you ride a bicycle, it is your right to occupy a lane of traffic just as any other car does. If road rage from a driver causes a bike accident that leads to injury, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
The road rage injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. are standing by to take your call at (312) 924-7575. Call for a free case consultation without obligation. If you have been hurt, call us now or contact us online for the answers you deserve.
If you were hurt in a road rage bicycle accident in Chicago, call Abels & Annes, P.C. now for a free case consultation.