It is important that everyone on the road obeys traffic laws to avoid injuries to others. This applies to both motorists and bicycles alike. However, bicycle accidents are unfortunately all too common, both due to motorist and cyclist negligence. In 2011 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported on its website that 677 cyclist deaths nationwide. As Chicago is a city popular for cycling for leisure and commuting, and is continuing to grow in popularity still, our attorneys believe this statistic is way too high and promote roadway safety to ensure that our Chicago cyclists are free from harm.
According to news by KWTX an eight-year-old boy was transported to a local hospital in critical condition after being hit by a truck while riding his bicycle. Sadly, after two days in the hospital in critical condition, he passed away. According to witnesses, the boy was riding his bicycle on the side of the road and did not stop at the stop sign of the intersection. He then rode into traffic and into the path of a pickup truck. The driver was unable to stop in time or avoid hitting the child. Authorities say the boy was not wearing a helmet at the time.
While it is unclear from the article whether the pickup truck driver engaged in any negligent driving like excessive speeding or distracted driving. This example should also serve as a reminder to parents of the importance of teaching bike safety rules to their children and acting as role models for bike safety themselves. Not only should children be monitored at all times while at play, but caregivers should provide children with all protective measures possible, such as helmets and reflectors for bicycle use.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stresses that all riders, adults and children alike, wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet. Furthermore, a bicycle should always be inspected to ensure that it is in good condition to be ridden. Tires should be inflated, and brakes should be properly working. Also, it is always imperative that a rider can be seen by other people, bicyclists, and motor vehicles. One way to aid visibility is by wearing neon or bright colors. Having reflective tape on your clothing or bike can also aid in visibility. Also consider placing reflectors and flashing lights on your bicycle.
What is also noteworthy is that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, many bicycle crash injuries and deaths are correlated with the bicyclist’s behavior. These serious personal injuries or deaths oftentimes result from not wearing a helmet, riding into the street without stopping, turning left in front of vehicles, or running a stop sign. It is important that bicyclists remember that they are vehicles and must also follow the rules of the road for their safety and the safety of others.
Our attorneys remind readers that young children are not mature enough to be able to gauge the dangers of the road or make decisions while in traffic. Because of this, they cannot keep themselves safe, so caregivers need to ensure they stay on the sidewalks and always wear a helmet. Safety and supervision can save lives and prevent accidents.