Everyone on the road in Illinois deserves to stay safe. Sadly, deaths among cyclists have been on the because of accidents involving motor vehicles.
What’s behind the rise in cyclist deaths?
In recent years, the number of cyclist fatalities stemming from accidents with cars and other vehicles has increased. A young bicyclist was killed after a hit-and-run accident, leading to police questioning a person of interest.
After the fatal accident, advocates increased their calls for better infrastructure and safety for bicyclists, stating that what’s currently there is not enough. One person said that the designated bike lane seems to have faded away thanks to construction.
The young cyclist’s death led to a stop sign being added to the area where the accident occurred. Residents of the neighborhood had been urging officials to do something to prevent accidents after another cyclist died in the same area back in 2019. They noted that traffic moved unsafely fast at the intersection.
Advocates have pointed out that around six cyclists per year have died in Chicago since 2016. The exact number was even higher in 2020.
How can cyclists stay safer?
Bicyclists can do their part to stay safer while sharing the road with cars and other larger vehicles. Staying out of a vehicle’s blind spots is crucial. Those areas are most commonly situated on the right side.
Always follow the rules of the road while riding a bicycle. Hand signals should be used when making turns or preparing to stop. Avoid passing other vehicles from the right. Only do so from the left when you have plenty of clearance to safely pass. Always give plenty of space between the bike and motor vehicles.
Cyclists should always wear protective gear while riding. This includes a well-fitting helmet, brightly colored clothing or clothing that’s reflective. When drivers can see people on bicycles, it can keep them safer and prevent road accidents. Cyclists should use lights when riding after dark as well.
If you ride a bicycle, keeping alert and using these safety tips can help prevent accidents. If a vehicle does hit you, it’s your right to hold the driver accountable.