How to steer clear of collision when riding a bicycle

You and your loved ones may be among many other bicycle enthusiasts in Illinois who eagerly await each opportunity for pedaling adventure. Like most conscientious bicycle travelers, you wear appropriate attire and make use of safety equipment to reduce injuries. However, have you ever considered the fact that wearing a bicycle helmet, for instance, cannot help you avoid collision? Helmets definitely help reduce severity of injury, and they are legally required in most states when traveling on public roads, but such equipment cannot keep accidents from occurring.

By understanding what types of situations increase your chances for collision, you may be able to improve travel safety. It's also helpful to have a plan in mind for what to do and where to turn for support if an accident does occur. If you research Illinois bicycle laws ahead of time, you may be able to avoid legal problems down the line. If another person's negligence causes you or your child injury, there are resources available to help you seek recovery for your losses.

Beware potential collision situations!

When you're riding a bicycle in areas where there is motor vehicle travel, you are at great risk for collision whenever you pass a side street, parking lot or driveway on your right. The following information can help you stay alert and remain as safe as possible:

  • A vehicle on your right crossing your path and hitting you is always a risk when traveling by bicycle, especially at night. However, equipping the front of your bike with a headlight can help others see you. Some people use such lights during daylight hours as well, to lower their chances for right-cross accidents. 
  • Using a loud horn is also a means of quickly getting a vehicle driver's attention.
  • A particular situation may necessitate waving your arm left to right to catch a motorist's eye contact. It's often easier to see an object swaying side to side than to see a bicycle approaching in the dark, in foggy weather, etc.
  • You have likely encountered situations by bike when you ride passed parked cars. You are at great risk for injury if a person suddenly opens a car door as you pass. By trying to ride far enough off to the side to avoid door contact, you may be able to avoid an accident.
  • Crosswalks are dangerous places for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians alike. Even if you have the light to go and are using defined crossways between sidewalks, a turning vehicle may take you by surprise, and instead of getting to the other side of the street, you may wind up in the back of an ambulance.

It's never a good idea to stop at the right of a vehicle at a traffic light or stop sign. This usually places you in a driver's blind spot. When you move forward to go, the driver may not see you and can hit you if he or she begins to turn right. You may be aware of most of the potential accident risks while riding your bike; however, even though you're cautious an adhere to all traffic regulations, it doesn't guarantee another person's negligence will not cause you injury.

Crucial to know where to seek support

Other Illinois bicyclists injured in collisions caused by negligent motorists have sought recovery for their losses by asking experienced personal injury attorneys to file claims on their behalves in civil court.

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