As Chicago continues to grow into one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world, it is important for cyclists to be aware of the risks of riding on the road. While Chicago prioritizes the safety of cyclists in creating safety lanes, traffic signs and traffic regulations, cyclists should still be aware of accident risks so that they can avoid them. Knowing the types of common bicycle accidents can help a cyclist to be conscious of other drivers on the road and avoid “dooring” accidents and car crashes.
Intersection Bicycle Crashes
Intersection crashes are the most common type of bicycling accident in Chicago. From 2005-2010, almost 55 percent of all bicycle accidents occurred at intersections. An intersection accident may also be referred to as a “stop sign accident.” This type of accident occurs when a cyclist stops at a stop sign and then rides into an intersection in front of a vehicle that has the right-of-way. Young cyclists are often involved in these accidents due to a lack of understanding of traffic rules or faulty perception. Bike riders can avoid intersection crashes by remaining aware of traffic flow, using bike mirrors and increasing one’s visibility to other drivers.
Suburban Bicycle Crashes
Several suburban communities surround Chicago and are popular places for cyclists to ride. From 2005-2010, over one-third of bicycle injury crashes occurred north of the Loop.
Hit and Run Crashes
A hit and run crash occurs when a car driver hits a bicycle rider and speeds away before the authorities arrive. Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal in Illinois, and fleeing parties may face civil or criminal liability as a result. Hit and run crashes make up about 25 percent of all bicycle crashes occurring in Chicago.
Improper Driving/Riding Accidents
Bicycle accidents may occur when drivers or cyclists fail to use proper signals or motorist habits. In Chicago, the most common motorist error resulting in accidents is a failure to yield. For cyclists, the most common traffic error is riding against traffic. Cyclists should always try to ride along with traffic.
Rear-end accidents frequently occur when a driver fails to see a bike rider on the road. A cyclist may be in the wrong lane, and a driver may crash into him or her. Rear-end collisions are a rare type of bike accident and usually only occur when gross negligence is involved. A motorist or bike rider may be intoxicated or lack proper vision at the time of the accident.
Side Swipe Accidents
A side swipe accident may occur when a car driver is driving too closely alongside a cyclist. The cyclist and driver may collide, and the cyclist may spin out as a result of the side swipe.
Dooring accidents are common in Chicago and metropolitan areas. A dooring accident happens when a driver opens his or her car door, and a cyclist is unable to avoid crashing into the door. In Chicago, eight percent of dooring crashes were incapacitating from 2005 to 2010. About 61 percent of dooring accidents were non-incapacitating and resulted in injuries, and 31 percent of dooring accidents possibly resulted in injuries.
Nighttime crashes are common when a driver is unable to see a bike rider. A bike rider may fail to use reflective gear or lights. In some cases, a driver has poor vision and is unable to see a cyclist that does use the proper reflective gear and lights.
Cyclists are at risk of involvement in taxi crashes in city atmospheres. Taxi drivers are often in a hurry to get to the next location, and they may crash into bike riders.
Speak with Chicago Bike Accident Lawyers Who Understand Your Situation
Chicago bike accident lawyers enjoy cycling on the roads of Chicago and can relate to your difficult situation. You can receive the compassionate guidance and legal advice that you need from Chicago bicycle accident attorneys. Call us today to learn more about your legal rights if you or a loved one was injured in a cycling accident.