Those who ride bicycles on public roads accept the risk that comes with sharing the space with much larger and heavier passenger vehicles. Even if a cyclist wears a helmet to reduce injury risks, the potential for severe, disabling and even fatal injuries is always just a few seconds away. Whether you ride a bike for your commute to work or just enjoy cruising around town on two wheels on the weekend, you need to stay alert to stay safe.
Sadly, awareness and remaining alert are two issues for many people in motor vehicles. People often choose to drive distracted, which can create a lot of risk for everyone else on the road. For those on bicycles, which offer little physical protection in the event of a collision, the distraction of a driver could result in terrible injuries.
Drivers often have trouble noticing cyclists
Even in the best of situations, people on bikes faces risks on the road. When you add drivers who aren't paying attention fully to the task at hand, it's a recipe for tragedy. Due to their smaller size and lower height, bicycles are harder for some people in vehicles to see and track on the road. Many drivers fail to specifically look for smaller vehicles when merging or turning.
That lack of concern and awareness can be dangerous for people on bikes and motorcycles. In the wake of a collision caused by a negligent driver who failed to check for two-wheeled transportation, failure to notice the bike is often a common explanation.
Adding distraction to the mix can prove deadly
Streets in Chicagoland can be hectic and frenetic. Drivers often feel under pressure to reach their destinations as quickly as possible. When you combine traffic and weather conditions with a serious size discrepancy and driver distraction, people on bikes often lose.
Distraction comes in many forms. For some people, it's internal. Focusing on an upcoming issue instead of the road can mean delayed reaction time. Other people focus visually on something else, like a passenger in the vehicle. Taking their eyes off the road can easily result in an accident. Finally, some people take their hands off the wheel, which can make it harder to quickly adjust the vehicle for traffic changes.
Whether the driver of the motor vehicle who crashed into you had been texting or was just lost in thought, the collision can cause you severe and even permanent injuries. Distracted driving is both a violation of Illinois law, as well as a form of negligence on the road. For those who suffer injuries caused by distracted drivers while biking, it may be possible to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit against the distracted driver and the driver's insurance company.