Cycling is a very popular activity throughout Illinois, and especially in Chicago. Chicago provides bike maps, bike shares, and many people avail themselves of the opportunity to enjoy the amenities of the city while riding on their bicycles. Bicycling provides many health, social, and other benefits for the cyclist, as well as tangible benefits for the environment. It also builds a sense of community, and the people of Chicago have embraced the opportunities for cycling that continue to grow.However, the popularity of cycling underscores the risks inherent to having bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers share the same routes and roads. Intersections can be especially fraught with danger. Learn to protect yourself from accidents and take proactive steps to lessen the danger. Keeping the rules of the road and basic liability in mind can not only protect the cyclist from injury, but also protect the interests of the cyclist involved in an accident.
In order to avoid injury and also to protect against liability, a cyclist should know and follow the rules of the road. The first line of protection is often to increase the visibility of the cyclist, and make it less likely that someone may overlook the presence of a cyclist on the road. Cyclists can make themselves more visible and comply with local regulations by:
- Using reflective tape, appropriate lights, and light-reflective clothing, cyclists should make their bikes and themselves visible, even in low light or in poor weather;
- Using appropriate hand-signals, riding in designated lanes, and riding in the correct direction with regard to other vehicles and traffic;
Using all appropriate safety equipment (a brightly-colored helmet with light reflective tape serves multiple purposes);
- Knowing when and how to yield at intersections, with and without traffic signals; and
- Driving defensively, on the lookout, and aware of their surroundings.
Even when a cyclist has the right of way, the cyclist certainly bears a much higher risk when involved in an accident with a motor vehicle. It is essential that cyclists comply with all travel signals.
After an Accident
If the unthinkable happens, and an accident occurs, the cyclist should also remember that a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer is an incredible resource. A qualified attorney can provide advice to a cyclist who is hurt, or who sustains damage to his or her property. Consulting with a personal injury law firm can be a very important step in protecting against liability, and obtaining assistance for the many costs involved in any accident — medical bills, lost wages, injuries, and other damages.
Contact a Chicago Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer can help you protect yourself in the events that follow. Call John Budin at 312.377.0700 today for a consultation.