Drivers and bicyclists both have the right to use and share roads in Illinois and throughout the country. Therefore, it is important that motorists clearly understand what they need to do to ensure that they share the road safely with those on their bikes. For example, drivers should be aware of the sheer size difference between a car and a bike. Most vehicles weigh more than 2,000 pounds while the typical bike weighs about 20 pounds.
When a bicyclist is on a public road, that person is subject to the same rules as those who are operating cars, trucks or other vehicles. Therefore, drivers have a responsibility to ensure that they don’t follow too closely or otherwise act aggressively toward bicyclists. They should also be sure to keep their eyes on the road instead of on their phones. It isn’t uncommon for a driver to claim that he or she never saw the cyclist that he or she collided with.
Motorists should avoid all distractions to be more attentive and aware of the other vehicles and cyclists surrounding them. Cyclists may be vulnerable to serious injuries or death because of people opening their car doors as they ride past. Therefore, drivers should look before getting out of their vehicles after parking on a city street.
Bicyclists or others who are injured by a negligent driver may be entitled to compensation to help pay for medical bills or help to recover lost wages and future earnings. A personal injury attorney may help an injured pedestrian or bicyclist show that negligence played a role in causing an accident to happen. Witness statements, a police report or video from a crash scene might show that a driver was tired, distracted or impaired when an accident took place.