Tips for safe cycling in Chicago 

| |

Cycling is a great way to get around the city. It’s often faster than driving, it’s vastly less expensive and it helps to keep you in shape. Not to mention the fact that it can be a lot of fun. 

It can also be dangerous. People are seriously injured and killed in cycling accidents every year, often because drivers make mistakes and hit them on their bikes. If this is an activity that you’re going to engage in frequently, you definitely need to know how to stay safe. 

What you can do to increase your safety

Nothing is more important than staying attentive and understanding the risks. You always need to ride with that risk in mind and do what you can to mitigate it. That said, here are a few more specific tips that can also help:

  • Ride in the middle of the day. Avoid night riding, dusk or dawn — all of which reduce visibility.
  • Put a bright LED light on your bike. Turn it on no matter how well you can see, as it helps others see you.
  • Always ride with traffic and use bike lanes when you can. Never ride against traffic or on the sidewalk.
  • Make sure your bike is in great condition and that your helmet fits. Proper gear helps keep you safe.
  • Do not wear headphones or earbuds. You need to hear traffic around you.

Above all else, assume those drivers are going to make mistakes and cause accidents. Watch for errors and ride defensively. 

Of course, even safe cyclists still get hit by negligent drivers. Those who are injured may need compensation for medical bills and other costs, so learning about your legal options is a wise move.