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Bicycle Accidents: Chicago’s Bicycle Culture Expands, Signifies Importance of Road-Sharing Safety

Posted on in Bicycle Accidents

Illinois personal injury attorneyChicago has risen in the ranks of being one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. Based on an article published by RedEye Chicago, the city moved up five spots to the number fifth ranking for Bicycling Magazine’s 2012 best 50 U.S. cities for cycling list. The rankings are determined by a number of city factors including:

  • The number of bike lanes and facilities per square mile of the city;
  • The number of local businesses that are bike-friendly; and
  • The ratio of residents to bike-share bikes.

Despite Chicago’s bustling metropolis and heavy traffic flow, Chicago has improved its efforts to embrace the cycling culture and its community. With that comes a responsibility for cyclists to follow the same safety regulations that drivers and pedestrians abide by to keep the roads safe and avoid bicycle accidents from occurring.

The City of Chicago has created a cycling plan with goals that would include a 645-mile network of facilities to accommodate bicycles within every half mile of every resident by 2020. Its plan also involves development of more bike ways, protected bike lanes, and infrastructure to support city cyclists.

The development causes need for a focus in traffic safety awareness so that both drivers and bicyclists know and implement the laws of sharing the road. Over 49,000 bicycle injuries and 726 fatalities were reported nationwide in 2012. Driver safety tips to follow in order to prevent these statistics from rising include:

  • Avoid driving or parking in designated bike lanes;
  • After parked, check for bicyclists before opening vehicle doors;
  • Give extra room to cyclists on the road, especially during rainy and icy road conditions; and
  • If turning right and a bicyclist is approaching on the right, allow the cyclist to proceed through the intersection before making the turn.

With careful attention paid to traffic laws, the increase of bicycling popularity in Chicago does not have to mean more motor vehicle/bicycle accidents. If driver negligence has caused you or a loved one to sustain injuries due to a bicycle accident in Illinois, contact an experienced Chicago bicycle accident attorney today for a free consultation.

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