Sideswipe Bike Accidents Cause Serious Injuries
Bike accident lawyers know that a collision between a motor vehicle and a bicycle in Illinois, even at very low speeds, can be deadly. In 2014, 726 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes and 50,000 were injured nationwide. The small frame of a bicycle and lack of protection for a rider are simply no match for the heavy infrastructure of a fast-moving vehicle.
Biking for recreation and transportation is on the rise in metropolitan areas like Chicago. In these crowded cities, cyclists are at a higher risk of collisions as traffic is heavy on city streets. Not only are accidents more likely in urban settings but the number of bicycle accident injuries are increasing annually.
There has been an increase of over 11 percent in the past 10 years. Presently, estimates indicate that one-third of all bicycle accidents involve a bicyclist being struck by a vehicle.
When do Sideswipe Bicycle Accidents Occur in Chicago?
Sideswipe biking accidents are entirely avoidable if motor vehicle drivers exercise caution. Drives have to stay alert in heavy bike traffic areas. Sideswipe accidents most often occur in two situations:
- When a driver is trying to pass a cyclist
- When turning at intersections
Sideswipes while Passing
Vehicles attempting to pass a cyclist often misjudge their distance from the biker. As the vehicle tries to move around the bicyclist, the driver fails to leave enough space and hit the cyclist.
Even the slightest scrape can cause serious injury to a bicyclist. A motor vehicle outweighs a bike by thousands of pounds. That excess weight can seriously injure a cyclist, especially if the vehicle is traveling fast. The impact can force the cyclist to fall or be thrown from his bike. If it is a busy area, the bicyclist could be in danger of being hit by additional vehicles nearby.
Sideswipes at Intersections
Turning vehicles at intersections pose a serious threat to bicyclists. Drivers can become too focused on their own actions or the actions of other cars to notice bicyclists. When the motorist fails to see a cyclist and makes a left turn or a right turn, the driver can easily sideswipe the cyclist, causing serious injuries.
Chicago's Effort to Reduce Sideswipe Bicycle Accidents
Chicago is a very bike friendly city and it is proud of its reputation as one of the best cities for cycling in the country. In addition to many trails and paths that crisscross neighborhoods, there are over more than 200 miles of bike lanes throughout the city. There, bicyclists share a designated portion of the road with motor vehicles.
The city has made a large effort to construct buffered or protected bike lanes. These provide a barrier between cars and bicyclists. Residents and tourists alike can even rent DIVVY bicycles to enjoy a day pedaling around the city.
Chicago aims to continue building even more bicycle lanes and making the streets as safe as possible for bicyclists. This is to encourage a fun, healthy, and money-saving mode of transportation. Thus, as cyclists are only expected to increase in numbers, it is important for both drivers and cyclists to safely share the roads.
Safety Tips for Bicyclists
- Always observe traffic laws
- Never assume a driver sees you
- Use signals for turning
- Stay in clearly marked bike lanes when possible
- Avoid riding at night in poorly lit areas
- Wear reflective clothing
- Attach lights and reflective signaling to your bike
- Don’t ride intoxicated
- ALWAYS wear a helmet
Safety Tips for Drivers
- Pay special attention to marked bike lanes
- Always double check your blind spots – triple check before turning
- If you have to pass a bicyclist, do so slowly and with extreme caution
- Give bikers the right-of-way
- Avoid distracted driving
Legal Relief for Sideswipe Bicycle Accident Victims
Injuries following a car accident with a bicyclist can be extensive and severe. There can be costly medical bills and other financial harm for a victim. If you were injured in a bicycle crash, know that the personal injury attorneys at Abels and Annes, P.C. have the experience necessary to help you get the compensation you deserve.
The lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. are dedicated to the rights of injury victims. We always fight for the best possible outcome in every case they handle. If you're trying to get through the aftermath of an accident or if someone you love is suffering after a collision, contact us immediately.
We offer a free case consultation without obligation when you call us at (312) 924-7575, or contact us online. We have a licensed lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your phone call.
If you were hurt in a Chicago sideswipe bicycle accident, call Abels & Annes, P.C. at (312) 924-7575 for a free case consultation now.