We’ve all driven near bicyclists before, sometimes on smaller roadways or intersections, and other times on larger roadways or even highways. Occasionally, passing motorists become irritated by bicyclists, especially if the bicyclist is traveling directly in the middle of a lane instead of on a bike trail or sidewalk nearby. These bicyclists instantly become disliked because they are “in the way” or are slowing traffic.
Even so, we commonly see street signs that say, “Share the Road” in reference to bicyclists. Many motorists are unaware that bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles and therefore have every right share the road with them. Instead, they are commonly disregarded by drivers who may fail to yield to them, fail to give them the space they need while riding on roadways, disregard the rules of the road, or become distracted while driving. This only increases the chance that a bicyclist will become a victim in serious accident or collision.
Chicago Tribune recently reported that a bicyclist was struck and killed by a semi-trailer truck in Chicago last week. Our personal injury attorneys read that the semi struck the 40-year old woman around 1:30pm when she was riding on the side of a road in a small South Side neighborhood. Authorities say the woman was dead at the scene and the Cook County medical examiner’s office was then notified.
Even worse, after striking the bicyclist, the semi truck driver immediately fled the scene of the accident. Though officials were not available for comment, the semi truck driver is not in custody. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Major Accident Investigation Unit is handling the collision and is seeking the driver of this tragic hit-and-run collision.
Though collisions with any vehicle and a bicyclist can be serious, the size, weight, and height of semi trucks is massive in comparison to a bicycle and increases the chance that a bicyclist can be critically injured or killed in an collision. With this being said, accidents involving inattentive or negligent semi truck drivers are even worse. Though the above report does not state the direct cause of the accident, the semi truck driver demonstrated carelessness and disregard for the bicyclist when he failed to check her after the collision or to report the accident, instead choosing to flee the scene.
Because semi trucks are so large and take up a significant amount of road space, it is often difficult for truck drivers to judge how near a bicyclist is; the numerous blind spots that semi trucks have also contribute to this difficulty. Giving bicyclists the greatest amount of space possible will decrease the chance of an accident taking place. Additionally, all motorists should yield to bicyclists at stop signs and crosswalks and make an effort to pass and turn near bicyclists safely. It is most important to keep your eyes on the road, avoid distractions in your vehicle, and drive responsibly.
Accidents involving a vehicle and a bicyclist can be devastating for those involved, including victims, family members, or even witnesses of the accident. Because of the potential injury and life altering consequences that can come from a bicycle accident, it is encouraged that all victims seek quality legal representation. Our lawyers are prepared to inform you of your rights, offer you the resources needed to seek legal action, and fight for the compensation you deserve.