A bicyclist in Chicago was killed in an accident with a flat-bed truck last month. The result of the latest accident adds to the already high death toll from accidents between bicyclists and commercial vehicles. According to a local news report discussing the crash, the latest fatality is the fifth incident in Chicago since June in which a bicyclist was critically injured or killed after being hit by a large commercial vehicle. The unacceptable number of fatalities in the last few months in that city alone supports the argument that large commercial vehicles and semi-trucks present an increased threat to commuters everywhere when they travel on small city streets with high levels of traffic.
The Truck Driver Never Saw the Bicyclist
According to the news report, the latest fatality occurred on the morning of Monday, September 26. The bicyclist, a 23-year-old woman, was riding in the designated bike lane of a major roadway, and the flat-bed truck was traveling in the same direction at approximately the same speed. As the bicyclist was alongside the truck, going through an intersection, the truck driver made a right turn and crashed directly into the cyclist. Witnesses of the crash noted that the truck driver was distraught after the crash, and they told police that it seemed the driver did not see the bicyclist before making the turn.
Cyclists Always Have the Right of Way in Bike Lanes
Many cities have designated bike lanes set along the right shoulder of roadways. Occasionally, the bike lanes are “dual use” lanes that cars and trucks are also permitted to use if there are no cyclists present. When other vehicles make a right turn across a bike lane, there is an increased risk for an accident because drivers are often not looking out for cyclists before making a turn. Although cyclists may be harder to see than larger vehicles, it is the drivers who are required to notice and yield the right of way to cyclists who are traveling in a designated bike lane.
The Reduced Visibility From Large Vehicles Increases the Danger
Cyclists face higher risks of being hit than other drivers because of a bicycle’s smaller size compared to other vehicles. This danger may be amplified if large commercial vehicles are using roadways with designated bike lanes, since these vehicles have larger blind spots, and nearby bicycles may be even harder to spot. Drivers and operators of large vehicles have a responsibility to operate their vehicles safely, and they should never make a turn or change lanes if they aren’t sure there is nothing in their blind spot. In the tragic event that a cyclist is injured or killed because another driver failed to notice them in the bike lane, the victim or their family may be entitled to compensation from the driver who caused the crash by contacting legal counsel and pursuing a New Mexico semi-truck accident claim.
Have You Been Injured by a Commercial Vehicle?
If you or a loved one has been hit by a semi-truck or other vehicle while riding a bicycle, you may be entitled to compensation from the responsible party. The drivers of large commercial vehicles must obtain a specific license and undergo specialized training to legally operate these large vehicles on public roads, and they are responsible to do so safely. The experienced New Mexico truck accident attorneys at the Fine Law Firm can help you pursue your claim against a negligent commercial vehicle operator and seek the compensation that your deserve. Contact the Fine Law Firm today at (585) 989-3463 or sign up online to schedule a free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Court Applies Good Samaritan Statute in Truck Accident Case, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, September 21, 2016.
Federal Court Interprets Insurance Contract in Favor of Insurance Company, Limiting Settlement Amount, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, September 6, 2016.