Anyone who drives in Chicago probably has noticed that there are more bicyclists sharing the roadway with automobiles than ever before. Unfortunately, there seem to also be more bicyclist accidents than ever before. One cannot help to be moved by the white painted bicycles that stand as memorials at the sites where bicyclists have been killed in an accident.
Safety measures need to be taken by both bicyclists and car drivers alike to avoid accidents. A few common sense recommendations for bicyclists are:
– Obey traffic rules
– Wear bright clothing and have reflectors on your bike – Pay close attention to people exiting parked cars and opening their doors in the bike lane (bike riders getting hit by opening car doors and being thrown is the most common cause of bicyclist injuries that I have personally encountered)
– Use lights at night – Watch for cars making right turns across the bike lane – Always wear a helmet – Try to avoid dangerously congested areas
A few automobile driver recommendations are:
– When exiting a parked car, always look to see if any bikes are coming along side the car before opening the car door – When making a right turn, make sure to look for bicyclists coming on the right side of the car – Stay as far away from bicyclists in the bike lanes as possible – Be extra careful when bicyclists are present
Most bicycle accidents probably could be avoided if car drivers were just more alert to the fact that bicyclists are present.