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 right cross
This is the situation where a motor vehicle is pulling out from a side street, private driveway or alleyway from the bicyclists right side. The driver is looking for cars and often pulls up into the path of the bicyclist. This situation is especially common in Chicago since many alleyway exits have cars parked right up to the the exit to the alleyway so that cars exiting the alleyway have very poor visibility of bikes on the roadway. Ways to avoid this type of collision include using a head light, slowing down before exits and trying to make eye contact with the motorist to determine if the motorist has seen you or not.
The door prize
This one is also very common in Chicago since most of the so called “bike routes” run parallel to parked cars. Many people do not even think to look before opening their car door in to the path of the painted bike route. The only way to avoid this one is try to ride farther to the left which puts the bicyclist closer to moving traffic which is more dangerous or to look for people who are sitting in their cars parked and who may be getting ready to exit their cars.
The right hook
This is a common one for bicyclists riding on Chicago bike routes. A motorist passes the bicyclist on the left then makes a right turn across the bike route right in front of the bicyclist. All a bicyclist can do to avoid this maneuver is to watch for right turn signals. TO BE CONTINUED