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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

How to Commute by Bike Safely in Chicago

by Jared Staver in Auto Accidents, Bike Accidents

Biking is a favorite mode of transportation in Chicago, especially when the warm weather hits the city. However, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation, an average of 1,500 cyclists are seriously injured while riding bikes each year in Chicago, and many injuries are not reported. Therefore, it’s important to know how to commute by bike safely to prevent accidents that may occur. Although every crash cannot be prevented, read the tips below to help keep yourself and others safe while biking in Illinois.

If you were involved in a bicycle accident in Chicago, you should contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away. We know that bike accidents can result in serious injuries or even fatalities. We will evaluate your case and help you recover compensation from the person who was at fault. Call one of our Chicago bicycle accident lawyers at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation.

Ride With the Flow of Traffic

Although some people think that bikes should travel facing traffic or on sidewalks, you should ride your bicycle alongside other motor vehicles on the road. If there is a bike lane, make sure to use that; however, many Chicago streets do not have designated bicycle lanes. Thus, if there is not one, you should use the road and follow the same laws as vehicles.

Make Sure You Are Visible to Other Cars

Although you are riding along with traffic, a small bicycle and its rider can be difficult to see, especially at dawn, dusk, or high noon. Thus, you should try to stay in the middle of the lane and avoid dark shadows while riding.

Thoroughly Know Your Route

Chicago is a large city, and there are many different paths to the same locations. It is critical that you thoroughly understand your route before you begin your ride. You can look at street view maps to make sure you have adequate turn lanes and bicycle parking at your destination. You should also be aware of one-way streets and on-street parking to avoid any collisions with parked cars.

Correctly Estimate Your Distance and Time

You can use many online programs or apps to estimate the distance and time of your route. Make sure to plan for an adequate amount of time all the while considering Chicago traffic and construction. It is also a smart idea to inform someone your bike plan and make sure they check in with you periodically to ensure your safety.

Wear a Helmet and Other Protective Gear

Safety gear, such as helmets, knee pads, and elbow protectors are essential when riding in Chicago. You may hit a road bump or ride through rough construction and suffer a fall. A car may also spin up rocks at you as you ride. Therefore, it’s best to protect yourself with as much gear as possible.

Take Care of Your Bicycle

Like cars, bicycles need regular maintenance. You should check the tires, chain, brakes, and other vital parts before every trip. When tires become worn, they should be changed immediately. Worn parts can fall off or cause you to wreck.

Bike shops can also perform regular maintenance on your bike.

Call a Chicago Bicycle Accident Lawyer After a Bike Accident

Certain hazards accompany riding a bicycle on the busy streets of Chicago. If you were riding your bike and were injured due to the negligence of another person, you have legal rights. Call a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away for help with your case. To schedule a free case consultation, contact us today at (312) 236-2900.