Bicycle Accidents: Do Bike Lanes Protect Riders?

According to 2017 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, at least 783 bicyclists died in traffic accidents. This number was lower than the 2016 figure of 852. Why did the fatalities decrease? Some communities have addressed the danger bicycle riders face by changing roadways. Is it possible that bike lanes protect riders from the motorists around them?

The Danger of Riding a Bike

People often use the common saying, “It’s as easy as riding a bike.” Hopping on a bicycle may not be hard, but negotiating traffic with larger, more lethal motor vehicles is. Drivers passing through intersections often don’t see cyclists as they turn right or left.

Chicago is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States. However, motorists often obstruct bike lanes or illegally drive in them.

Minor bike accidents could result in cuts, scrapes, and bruises. Colliding with a car or truck is more likely to result in more serious injuries, like:

  • Traumatic brain injuries,
  • Neck injuries,
  • Amputations, and
  • Broken bones.

If motorists continue to ignore them, do bike lanes protect riders or not?

The Hidden Dangers of Bike Lanes

Carving bike lanes out of existing roads can be hazardous to bicyclists and motorists. Views may be obstructed in bike lanes with barriers between the cars and cyclists. Other hazards include:

  • Lawful parking that blocks drivers from seeing approaching riders.
  • Poorly designed bike lanes.
  • Difficulty in passing through busy intersections.
  • Drivers opening doors into a rider’s path.

With heightened awareness of bike lanes, cycling may become less stressful and dangerous. In the meantime, riders injured by motorists may be entitled to compensation from insurance claims or lawsuits.

Some of the same tips apply to people involved in bike accidents as to motor vehicle accidents. It’s important not to apologize or take the blame at the accident site. Get medical treatment and keep your records. You also may need to talk to an attorney before you talk to an insurance adjuster.

People Injured in Bicycle Accidents May Be Compensated

In some situations, bike lanes protect riders but sometimes do more harm than good. In a collision between a cyclist and a motorist, the cyclist almost always loses out. Even minor accidents can cause major injuries.

With over 20 years’ experience, Osvaldo Rodriguez has the skills to handle your case from start to finish. To schedule your free initial consultation, or ask a question, call us at 708-716-3441 or fill out the form on the Contact Us page.

Mr. Rodriguez is fluent in both Spanish and English.

We represent clients throughout the state of Illinois, including Chicago, Addison, Bellwood, Bensenville, Berwyn, Chicago, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, and all of Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, Dupage County and Will County.

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