Bikes are a common means of transportation in Chicago, but riding in the city is very different than riding on the open roads of the country. The city is very congested, and there’s a lot of traffic to contest with, not to mention tourists and other pedestrians who flock through the streets.
If you want to ride your bike to work, for exercise or just for fun, you need to know how to stay safe.
Always ride with traffic
Never ride against traffic or on the sidewalk. Bicycles are considered vehicles, and you need to ride in the traffic lane with the other vehicles. This may feel most dangerous, but studies have found that it is actually far safer.
Watch out for car doors
Remember that you have a right to the lane. You don’t have to move over to get out of the way of cars that are trying to force their way by. Give yourself some space, so you don’t get hit by a door that someone opens into the street.
Make yourself as visible as you can
Visibility is a huge issue, and just being seen can help prevent accidents. One way to do this is by wearing a high-visibility vest or helmet. You may also want to consider getting lights for both sides of your bike. All of this is especially important if you’ll ever be riding after dark.
What if you still get injured?
The unfortunate reality is that all the safety tips in the world can’t guarantee you won’t be injured in a car accident while you ride through the city. If you suffer serious injuries, you need to know how to seek financial compensation.