Chicago Bicycle Accidents Caused by Turning Vehicles
Federal, state and local traffic laws regulate driving behaviors when motorists make turns. These laws are enforced to ensure everyone remains safe on the roadway. However, many motorists and truckers will violate the rules of the road that often leads to left and right turning vehicle accidents.
Making a left-hand turn is considered one of the driver’s most dangerous maneuvers because of approaching traffic. For pedestrians and bicyclists, vehicles making right-hand turns can be extremely hazardous if the motorist is distracted or refocuses their attention away from the roadway.
Gap Left Turns
Gap left turn accidents are extremely dangerous. This driving maneuver injures and kills many bicyclists every year. These types of accidents happen when motorists make sudden turns between opening gaps in oncoming traffic and are unaware that the biker is traveling with the flow of traffic in the opposite direction alongside the curb.
The turning vehicle has the responsibility of yielding to the bicyclists, but usually does not see them until impact. Other times, a vehicle will hit the cyclist or place the biker in a precarious situation where they must crash the bicycle to avoid impact with the turning car.
Accidents caused by a right turn usually happen when the driver is unaware of bicycles and pedestrians crossing at an intersection or traveling down the street. Usually, the helpless bicyclist is at the mercy of the vehicle and suffers serious injury or death.
In many situations, there is little the pedestrian or cyclist can do to avoid the accident, especially if the motor vehicle is accelerating or moving too quickly when rounding the corner. These types of accidents are almost always caused by a distracted driver or a motorist attempting to make the turn before the light changes or the unsuspecting cyclist is unfortunately in the way of the oncoming car.
When a driver is attempting to make a left-hand turn, the right-of-way is almost always given to all approaching traffic, including bicyclists who are entering an intersection or traveling down the road. The priority of who goes first is well-established as is which party will wait at a traffic light, stop sign, or other signals providing traffic information. Intersections without clear markings or control signage require drivers and bicyclists to use reasonable judgment.
In some situations, the right-of-way is not an absolute certainty, but relative, where yielding requires the driver and cyclist to use reasonable care to avoid a collision. Every person sharing the roadway must signal their intention to turn as a way to alert approaching traffic, and come to a stop before turning left until there is a safe gap in oncoming traffic.
Many left turn vehicle accidents involve cars that did not yield the right-of-way when turning left, causing a broadside or “T-bone” accident. These kinds of accidents typically cause serious injury or death, especially if a bicycle is involved. In some situations, the driver misjudged the distance of approaching vehicles, was distracted while texting or talking on the phone, lacked driving experience or was driving aggressively.
Compensation for Chicago Cyclists Injured in Accidents With Turning Vehicles
If you, or a loved one, have suffered a serious injury in a left or right turning vehicle accident, you are likely eligible to receive financial compensation for your damages, injuries and losses. If it has been determined that the other driver is at fault or was cited by the police, you probably have a very strong case. However, successfully litigating a claim for compensation for an illegal turn can be complicated. Because of that, many victims of a bicycle/vehicle accident will hire an aggressive personal injury attorney to serve as their advocate through the complex legal process.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers will fight for your rights to determine every party at fault for your accident. In addition to the driver who caused your injuries, additional third parties might include traffic engineers who designed a defective intersection plan, roadway maintenance crews in charge of traffic signals or other motorists also involved in the accident.
Our team of skilled turning accident attorneys will build the case to show how another’s negligence while making the turn directly caused your damages. Our law firm will investigate your case by gathering evidence, recording eyewitness accounts, reviewing medical records and police documents to ensure you receive adequate recompense for your injuries.