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.
Drivers in Illinois are required to yield when bicyclists have the right of way. Bicycle riders are extremely vulnerable because they have no protection, and it is not uncommon for a bicycle accident victim to suffer severe injuries or even death. While most drivers are aware of other vehicular traffic when they want to turn at intersections, some fail to keep a proper lookout for cyclists.
Illinois residents may remember the horrific accident in Nov. 2011 when a 28,000-pound semi trailer knocked down a bicyclist on the streets of Chicago and rode over her. While the lawsuit against the truck driver and the owner the truck was scheduled for trial later this year, a settlement was recently reached. It was reported that the $9.75 million settlement is the highest in the state's history of settlements or verdicts reached in a bicycle accident case.
Especially in the beautiful Illinois summer weather, riding one's bicycle can be an enjoyable as well as healthy experience. Due to the rising gas prices, more people are opting to ride their bicycles to places they need to go such as work instead of driving a motor vehicle. With an increased number of bicyclists, drivers of motor vehicles must be careful when driving near a bicyclist because they are not in enclosed vehicles and are susceptible to major injuries if hit. An Illinois bicycle accident occurred recently in which the cyclist was fatally injured.