According to bicyclinginfo.org 716 people in the USA were killed and 52,000 suffered personal injuries in collisions involving a bike against a motor vehicle in 2008. The website bicyclesafe.com identified common situations that cause personal injuries to bicyclists. The most common ones our Chicago personal injury firm has encountered are:
The left cross
This is a common Chicago bicycle accident ,especially at the 6 corner intersections. Bicyclists do not register for some motorists in Chicago, and the motorist will proceed to make their left turn at an intersection directly into the path of a bicyclist. Perhaps this is because they are only looking for other motor vehicles and forget about the fact that bicyclists are also using the roadways. The way to avoid this accident is to enter intersections slowly and to never assume that the left turning motorist sees you on your bike. It is also a good idea to try to make eye contact with any driver ready to make a left turn to determine if the driver sees you or not. The Chicago personal injury lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. has handled of number of these cases and from experience it appears that most of these accidents happen at high congestion intersections like Western & Diversey in Chicago or at Western and Logan Blvd. in Chicago.
All a bicyclist can do at these intersections is to exercise extreme caution and even stop and walk the bike across the intersection if the intersection appears too congested and dangerous.
The rear end
This one occurs when the bicyclist gets rammed from behind while riding along the left side of the roadway close to the parked cars. The main culprit of this type of accident is usually a distracted motorist. In one case that the Chicago personal injury lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. handled this summer, a motorist who was a student at Lane Tech High School admitted that she had dropped her cell phone on the floor of her car and was looking for it on the floor when she rear ended our client who was riding his bicycle northbound on Western near Addison in Chicago at the time. Frankly, there really is not any way for a bicyclist to avoid this type of accident other than ride on the sidewalk.