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Bike Crashes

Attorney Tom Reuland has a long track record of success representing cyclists who are injured in left-hook bike crashes.  A left-hook bike crash occurs when a cyclist is traveling in one direction and a motorist is coming from the opposite direction.  The driver turns left across the path of travel of the cyclist while the cyclist continues straight. Illinois law requires drivers who are turning across oncoming traffic to yield to the oncoming traffic.

Left-Hook Accidents

A left-hook crash is caused by the driver failing to yield to oncoming traffic. In this instance, the traffic is a bicycle. Left hook crashes often occur at intersections, near driveways and near entrances to alleys and parking lots. The motorist may not see the cyclist or misjudge speed, turning left without yielding. Drivers also sometimes try to squeeze through gaps in traffic or try to speed through an intersection before a light turns red endangering others on the road. This driving results in the front or side of the vehicle colliding with the cyclist. It often results in serious injuries and even death.

The law also requires drivers to keep a proper lookout and drive at reasonable speeds to avoid collisions. Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of cars, trucks and SUVs. Just like cars, bikes have a right to continue straight without oncoming traffic impeding their path of travel. When a driver impedes oncoming traffic by turning left in front of someone, the driver has no excuses for causing a left-hook crash.

Safety on the Roadway

Some communities are plagued by drivers who rush and make left turns in front of oncoming traffic without regard to the safety of others. Here are a few things drivers can do to prevent left-hook crashes and increase the safety for all of us. 

Look before you turn.
Then look again. 

Drivers on a familiar roadway sometimes fall into bad habits. They may think they are looking out for traffic, but instead they are lulled into a routine of predicting what traffic might be in front of them rather than actually looking. Observing and yielding to cyclists might be a new experience for some drivers, particularly in less dense areas of Illinois. But yielding is the law.  It's a basic safety rule to protect our friends, neighbors and families. 

Stay off the phone

 Distracted driving causes left-hook crashes. The temptation to multi-task on our cell phones while driving might be appealing. But drivers need to carefully consider whether it's necessary. Making a call, sending an email, or writing a text while driving can lead to terrible consequences. Drivers who injure or kill cyclists always regret the experience. Putting the phone away and paying attention to the roadway is the safe choice.

Speed Kills

Another important step to reduce left-hook bike crashes is for drivers to take their time. A second or two of yielding to oncoming traffic on the road is worth it. Trying to squeeze through traffic, beat a light, or rush to an appointment 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 with Reuland Law, LLC

Left hook bike crashes are a serious problem that can have devastating consequences for cyclists. Drivers must be aware of their surroundings and yield to oncoming traffic before turning left.  If you have any questions about left-hook crashes or, worse, if you were involved in a bicycle crash in Chicago or anywhere in Illinois, you can have a free and confidential conversation with an attorney today by calling the law office of Tom Reuland.

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