One thing being a regular bicycle rider demonstrates to me is that probably nine out of ten drivers either are unaware, or don’t care, that they must look through their turn prior to beginning it. I observe drivers daily who start to make a turn (usually left, but also some right turns too) without considering the presence of pedestrians, cyclists, children, scooters, or dogs in their path in the crosswalk into which they are turning.
But who really looks ahead to see what awaits them on the street they are turning onto? Not many, unfortunately. This can lead to dire consequences.
It is starkly clear that a turning driver of a motor vehicle MUST look ahead of his or her turn to ensure the crosswalk is clear of people BEFORE beginning the turn.
Best practice is to drive defensively—look not just in the crosswalk but anywhere in the path in which pedestrians, cyclists, and the like might be. Before you take your two-ton vehicle and “hope” there is no one in your path, how about making absolutely certain? The extra second or so saves lives.
Never begin a turn without scanning both the path in front of your vehicle, but also the path to your right and left. Next, look not just ahead of you, but also in the direction you are turning. I am always shocked at how little attention drivers pay to these basic safety tenets. Everyone is in such a hurry they fail to realize how horrific it would be for multiple families if they were to mow down a pedestrian.
The car or truck always “wins” these battles, with the damage often being permanent and serious. Take that extra second or two and make certain you have a clear path. And if you see someone lollygagging across the street with earbuds in, slowing down your commute, take a deep breath. Deal with it. You might be angry and frustrated. They are wrong and you are right.
Doesn’t matter. Killing someone because you’re ticked off doesn’t make your day or their day better.
Your vehicle is huge and heavy and lethal. You will always win those battles with pedestrians. Big deal. Hooray for you. You will still have it on your conscience that you broke someone’s leg, or worse, to save thirty seconds.
Don’t be that person.
Accept the fact that drivers are often distracted, as are pedestrians. Accept that not everyone is as conscientious as they should be. Instead of getting angry and doing something stupid or dangerous, accept the imperfection of our traffic culture and simply build in enough time so that you do look through your turns, every single time.
As in all cases involving injury and potential liability, if you have been hit by a vehicle immediately get medical treatment, report the crash to police and your own insurance company, and contact a lawyer with expertise in your type of case, such as bicycle accidents or pedestrians hit by cars.
If you've been in an accident and have questions, contact Chicago personal injury attorney Stephen L. Hoffman for a free consultation at (773) 944-9737. Stephen has over 30 years of legal experience and has collected millions of dollars for his clients. He is listed as a SuperLawyer, has a 10.0 rating on Avvo, and is BBB A+ accredited. He is also an Executive Level Member of the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.
Stephen handles personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything up front, and he only gets paid if you do. Don’t wait another day; contact Stephen now.