Bicycles and Auto Accidents
On the road, cyclists must abide by many of the same rules as drivers in Illinois. That being said, an accident with a bicycle should be handled similarly to that as an accident with another motor vehicle. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the majority of car accidents involving a bicycle happen in non-intersectional areas of the road in urban areas.
Bicycle Specific Road Laws
- Designated bike lanes are for bicyclists only. Cars are prohibited from parking, driving, or idling in these spaces, even when there are no bikes in the lane. Bicyclists are allowed to leave the bike lane and bike on the road, but for safety reasons, it is discouraged for cyclists to do so;
- Bicyclists are prohibited on most expressways and highways, and any other marked road;
- The right of way is granted to bicyclists the same as a motor vehicles;
- Criminal charged may be filed if a motorists passes too close to a cyclist and the result is a crash.
An accident with a bicyclist may be more intimidating than with another vehicle. People on bicycles have little protection on the road, even with a helmet. In Illinois, adult riders can choose whether to wear a helmet or not.
What to do?
An accident with a vehicle can be deadly to a bicyclist, and any accident, no matter how small, can be jarring. It is important to stay calm and act promptly. Take a moment to react, but no matter what, do not drive away.
After an accident with a bicycle, pull over safely if possible. Call 911 to report the accident. Put your hazard lights on to alert other drivers.
If you are uninjured, get out of the car to check on the bicyclist. Do anything you can to help before the authorities arrive. You may be unable to provide assistance to the bicyclist in the event of serious injury. If this is the case, attempt to keep the area clear and keep vehicles on the road away from the injured person, if necessary.
Stay on the scene until an ambulance and/or police arrive. Take pictures with your cell phone of the scene, your vehicle, and any visual injuries on your body for insurance purposes.
When the police arrive, do your best to give an accurate description of the accident from your perspective. Be honest, and do not speculate. The police will collect the same information from the bicyclist if they are able. Make sure the information they are telling is accurate as well.
In the event that police are not sent to the scene of the accident, exchange contact information and any relevant insurance with the bicyclist - even in the event of a minor accident where minimal damage is done. If there were any witnesses to the accident, collect their contact information so your lawyer can reach out to them.
Report the accident to your insurance company right away.
Get in Touch With an Aurora, IL Car Accident Attorney
It is easy to assume a car accident involving a bicycle is the fault of the vehicle owner, but you are not liable for the recklessness of a bicyclist. If you have been in an auto accident, contact an experienced Kane County car accident attorney to determine if you may be owed compensation. Call 630-907-0909 to schedule a consultation.