June 14, 2013

Ways to Keep Bicyclists Safe on the Road

by Levin & Perconti

Recent studies have shown that an increase in bike sharing programs may lead to less accidents between cyclists and motorists. The reason that it may be safer for bikers in cities that have implemented bike-sharing programs is that these cities have an increase in cyclists because of these programs, which lead to drivers in those cities to be more aware of cyclists and to expect more cyclists on the road with them.

Bicycles are a great mode of transportation and many people that live in big cities find biking to be a much more efficient and quick way to get to their destination amidst the heavy traffic. Unfortunately, many bicycle accidents do occur each year, with about 800 deaths and over half a million emergency room visits a year as a result of a biking accident, according to The New York Times. Bike accidents can be especially dangerous and serious when they involve a bike and a car, so please always be aware of everyone else on the road whether you are riding a bike or driving a car.

As a biker, there are certain things you can make sure to always do to stay safe while on the road. The first thing to always make sure to do is to wear a helmet! About eighty five percent of head injuries while biking can be prevented by wearing a helmet. It is also important for all bike riders to follow the rules of the road and make sure to always be alert and paying attention to everything going on around you. If you are alert hopefully you will have the extra couple of seconds to react to avoid an accident while traveling on the road with other cyclists and with cars.

Similarly, there are a lot of simple steps that drivers can take to keep cyclists on the road with them safe. Drivers should also always be alert and keep an eye out for cyclists. One of the big issues that result in a high number of injuries every year are drivers not paying attention when they open their car door after they have parked. If a driver opens the car door without making sure there is no biker coming up next to the car, they may create a blockade that the biker cannot avoid. This can result in the biker being injured by striking the car door or it can result in the biker swerving into traffic to avoid hitting the car door. This problem has a simple solution and this problem would not occur if all drivers would take the extra couple of seconds to make sure that the road is clear before opening the car door and stepping out.

If you or a loved one was injured while riding a bicycle by a driver that was not paying adequate attention to the road, please contact our Chicago attorneys today to discuss what legal options may be available to you and to your family. If someone is responsible for your injury as a result of their negligence, they should be held accountable for their irresponsible actions.