Whether you regularly ride a bicycle for exercise, transportation or just for fun, you more than likely already know that you need to follow the rules of the road when you do. You must obey stop signs, traffic lights and move with the flow of traffic, among other things.
You remain vigilant as you ride in order to increase your chances of getting home safely. The problem is that not all motor vehicle drivers will do the same for you even though they should.
What obligations do drivers have to you?
Motor vehicle drivers owe a duty of care to everyone else they share the roadways with, but when it comes to certain vehicles, such as bicycles, they should take extra care to do their part to keep you safe since you are among the most vulnerable on the roads. Consider the following:
- Drivers should give you no less than three feet of space next to or behind you in case you need to make an emergency maneuver.
- They should frequently check their blind spots in places where you may ride to make sure they see you.
- Drivers should always pass you on the left.
- They should only pass you on a two-lane road when there is no traffic coming at yo
- Drivers should make sure the lane to the left of you is clear before passing you, and they should move completely into that lane to give you the space you need.
- Pedestrians aren’t the only ones who use crosswalks, so motor vehicle drivers should be on the lookout for you and your bicycle there as well.
- Drivers should only pass you when it is safe to do so just as they would if you were in a passenger vehicle instead of on your bicycle.
Sadly, many drivers become impatient with slower moving vehicles, including you and your bicycle. They may not pay attention to the above precautions, get too close to you and may even strike you. If that happens, you will most likely suffer more serious injuries than the vehicle driver will. Depending on the circumstances, your recovery could take a substantial amount of time and medical treatment. You could be out of work for some time, and your life may never be the same.
Your financial losses and other damages could be significant. Fortunately, you may have the opportunity to pursue compensation for them through the filing of a personal injury claim, but doing so alone could prove problematic. Instead, you could turn to an experienced Illinois attorney who can advocate on your behalf.