Safely Passing a Bicycle when Driving in Chicago

Bicyclists are present in all weather in Chicago. While their numbers swell in spring and summer, even brave riders can be seen during the poor conditions that plague Chicago in the winter. As cyclists continue to increase in number every year, motorists in the city limits are left to anticipate their presence and to drive with the safety of bicyclists in mind.

The laws in Chicago are designed to enable both riders and drivers to operate on the roads at the same time without conflict. For this to be possible, though, both bicyclists and motorists must obey all traffic-related rules or a bicycle accident may result.

Injuries are common following bicycle accidents and are likely to affect bike riders more often than drivers or passengers of vehicles. These victims may incur significant medical expenses yet be unaware of whether they are entitled to legal relief. As the facts of every collision vary, it is a good idea to consult with a personal injury lawyer in the Chicago area to learn about what options may be available to you and whether you have a valid claim for relief.

One of the greatest factors contributing to the large number of bicycle collisions in the Chicago area is a lack of knowledge of the bicycle-specific rules and regulations in the city. While all drivers know that a red light means stop and a green light means go, fewer are able to express the legal distance for passing a bicycle when overtaking in the same direction. In Illinois, including Chicago, motorists are required by law to leave a safe distance to pass and that distance must not be less than three feet. Drivers who do not follow this rule are likely to pose a hazard to bicyclists and also to violate the law.

While passing with a distance of less than three feet may lead to a traffic ticket or citation, the results can be much more extreme when a collision occurs. Not only will a driver face the possibility of a ticket but that driver may be held legally liable for any injuries or other damages that result from a crash. In the even that a bicyclist is hurt by a driver who passes too closely, that driver, if held liable, may be required to provide compensation for the medical expenses incurred by the victim, provide payment for wages missed while the victim recovers and is unable to work, and pay for damages including pain and suffering, scarring, and the permanency of injuries that stem from the crash. In some accidents, insurance may be a means to make a full or partial recovery in these cases, but where insurance is absent or inadequate, a driver may be personally liable for any remaining losses.



The lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. put their skills to work every day during their representation of victims who have been hurt in accidents, including bicycle accidents in Illinois. We understand what needs to be done to properly bring these claims and to help our clients get the maximum possible award in every case, and we are standing by to help you as well.

If you have been the victim of a bicycle accident or if your loved one was injured or killed, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and let us provide you with a case consultation. There is no cost or obligation on your part for speaking with us and everything discussed will be kept confidential.

At Abels & Annes, P.C., we believe that negligent drivers should be held responsible for their actions. That is why we fight for the rights of victims and why we want to fight for you. If you have been hurt, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us help you seek the relief you deserve.

Prior Blog Entry:

5 People Injured after Illinois Restaurant Fire, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published September 24, 2014.

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