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Staying safe while bicycling around Chicago

Bicyclists can enjoy the great sights in Chicago from a fun vantage point. The city has bike lanes and other features to help cyclists remain safe, but everyone on the roads must do their part to keep them safe. Understanding some of the rules and laws, as well as a few of the hazards that bicyclists face, can help everyone remain safe.

One of the most important things to remember is that cyclists should always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear, including vibrant or reflective clothing that makes them easy to spot. On top of that, make sure the bicycle is in good shape.

Know the markings

Throughout Chicago, you'll see markings on the pavement that tell everyone important information. Obeying the meanings of the marks is beneficial to bicycles and motorists because it reduces the chance of crashes.

Centerlines are the double yellow lines in the middle of some roads. These separate traffic moving in opposite directions, so you should always remain on the right side of them unless you're turning left.

White lines that go across the lane at intersections or near stop signs denote the place you should stop. These apply to vehicles and bicycles alike.

Crosswalks have two solid lines that go across the entire road with diagonal or straight lines between those two solid lines. Bicyclists and motorists have to stop at these if there are pedestrians crossing.

Directional markings are sometimes present on road surfaces. These include things like arrows showing you the direction of allowable travel within a lane.

Common sense is important

Using common sense as you ride around the city is important. For example, there is no law that says you need to watch for signs that someone is going to open their car door in your path, but taking that step can help you to avoid dooring.

Always remain watchful when you're riding. You never know when a motorist is going to do something that puts you in danger. If you are struck by a vehicle, it's best to assume that you're injured. Seeking help in the emergency room, an urgent care facility or your doctor's office is a good idea. You may opt to seek compensation for your injuries via a personal injury claim so that you aren't left holding the financial burden of the crash.

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