May is National Bike Month, and some Illinois counties are taking this opportunity to address bicycle safety on the roads. Most cyclists ride their bikes as safely as most drivers operate their automobiles, but, there are exceptions — regardless of the means of transport. Even though some bicycle riders may not follow the rules of the road, some automobile and truck drivers are simply negligent or distracted, while others have no consideration for bicycle riders. All too often, such negligence leads to a bicycle accident that can have devastating consequences.
After a recent bicycle accident that could have been fatal, northern Illinois police urged cyclists to wear reflective clothing and protective gear. Reflectors and lights are also required by law to ensure cyclists are visible when riding after dark. Recently, a bicyclist was extremely fortunate to suffer non-serious injuries when his head was struck by the side mirror of a pickup truck on U.S. 20.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, over 740 bicyclists lost their lives in automobile accidents in 2013. Although this cyclist was not severely injured, it is more prevalent for bicycle riders to suffer life-changing injuries — or even death — when struck by a vehicle. The financial consequences of such an accident can be crippling.
While the awareness created during National Bike Month may encourage users of Illinois roads to be more considerate, bicyclists will continue to be vulnerable. Anybody who has suffered injuries in a bicycle accident may pursue compensation for medical expenses. Properly documented evidence of negligence by another party will be required to substantiate a personal injury claim in a civil court. Upon successful presentation, the court may award monetary compensation for medical and other documented losses.
Source: wrex.com, “Police offer bicycling safety tips after truck-bike crash”, May 9, 2015