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Bicycle Handlebars

Bike Crashes

Reuland Law represents cyclists who are injured by negligent drivers who turn right without looking out for others on the roadway. This type of crash is so common that many people have developed shorthand to describe these types of bike collisions as a right-hook crash. 

Right-Hook Bicycle Crashes

A right-hook crash occurs when a cyclist is hit by a vehicle turning right at an intersection, alleyway, parking lot, or driveway. Before the turn the motorist and cyclist are traveling in the same direction. Then, suddenly the motorist turns right and crossing in front of the cyclist who is continuing straight. The side or front of the vehicle crashes into the cyclist, leading to serious injuries and even death.

As a cyclist himself, attorney Tom Reuland understands that the cause of this crash is nearly always the fault of the driver who fails to see the cyclist and fails to keep a safe distance from the cyclist sharing the roadway. In Illinois, cars, trucks and SUVs on the road must keep a safe distance away from cyclists. The law states that vehicles must keep three or more feet away from bicyclists. The law also requires turning vehicles to make turns only when it’s safe to do so. A right-hook typically involves multiple violations of these and other safety rules by a driver. Hiring an experienced and thoughtful attorney who can focus on the specifics of your case in particular can both protect your rights and ensure that you make a sizable recovery from insurance companies. 

Reducing Right-Hook Bike Crashes

There are several steps that drivers and city planners can take to increase the safety in our communities and reduce the risk of a right hook bike crash injuring a cyclist.

Dedicated Bike Lanes

Many drivers simply do not look for cyclists when turning right and may not even realize that they are in a cyclist's path. Bike lanes make it more obvious to drivers that cyclists are nearby. However, a lack of a protected pathway is never an excuse for a driver who still must obey the safety rules of the road and not hit cyclists on the roadway.

Distracted Driving

Drivers must stay focused on their surroundings. Cyclists have a right to share the road with drivers, and drivers must be aware not only of vehicle traffic but bicycle traffic also while driving. Distracted driving is often the primary cause of a right-hook crash when the driver does not even realize that there's a cyclist to the right of the vehicle.

Speed Kills

Another important step to reduce right hooks is for drivers to take their time. A second or two of yielding to other traffic on the road is worth it, especially when the alternative can cause catastrophic personal injuries to cyclists, upend their lives, and have ripple effects onto someone’s family, work, and personal life.

Exercise Your Rights

Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other road users in Illinois. Like drivers, cyclists have the right to continue straight through an intersection without getting hit by a vehicle that turns into them. Right hook bike crashes are a serious problem that can have devastating consequences for cyclists. It’s important for drivers to be aware of their surroundings and keep an eye out for cyclists, especially when making right turns.


If you have any questions about the law or, worse, if you were involved in a right-hook bicycle crash, you can have a free and confidential conversation with an attorney today by calling the law office of Tom Reuland.

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