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Staying Safe As a Summer Cyclist in Chicago and Northern Illinois

Gurnee bicycle accident attorneyAs the weather throughout the greater Chicago area continues to rise in temperature, more and more Chicagoans are electing to ride their bikes as a means of transportation and recreation. Commuting via bike has become a prominent alternative to driving throughout the United States. With zero carbon output and a number of health benefits, it is no surprise that more Americans are riding their bicycles than ever. Still, bicycling comes with risk. 

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 835 American bicyclists were fatally injured in collisions involving motor vehicles throughout 2016. The high fatality rate represented an increase from 2015 and was the highest nationwide cyclist death count since 1991. The next time you or your family enjoy a bike ride, practice extreme caution. In the event of a bicycle accident, it is important to understand how to obtain compensation that will address your damages and help you recover from your injuries. 

Staying Safe This Summer

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Posted on in Bicycle Accidents

bike share fatalityWith the rise of bike-share programs across the nation, more Americans than ever are enjoying the thrill of riding around the city even if they do not own a bike. Chicago has introduced the Divvy bike-share system, which allows riders to take bicycles out and about in the city for 30-minute intervals for a small fee. While Divvy and other programs have made it possible for commuters to trade in their cars and leisure riders to enjoy the city in a different way, bicycling in an urban area can be risky, even for experienced cyclists. In a large metro area like Chicago, riders are vulnerable to collisions that may cause injury or even death. One Chicago family now mourns the loss of a daughter taken too soon because of a tragic accident.

An Experienced Rider Loses Her Life in a Crash

This past summer, a 25-year old woman from Chicago, was killed after a flatbed truck struck her while she was riding a Divvy bike. She was cycling in the Avondale neighborhood on Chicago’s far northwest side, traveling north on Sacramento. A truck, also traveling north on Sacramento, attempted to make a right-hand turn onto Belmont and did not see the woman, causing a collision that ultimately led to her death. Witness reports conflict over whether the woman was continuing to travel north or was making the same right-hand turn, but in either situation, as a cyclist, she had the right of way and the vehicle should have yielded to her.

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Posted on in Bicycle Accidents
Illinois injury attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer, Illinois bicycle accident lawyer,The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that an astounding 48,000 bicyclists were injured in crashes back in 2013, and almost 750 bicyclists died due to vehicle-related collisions. Bike accidents continue to be a prevalent problem on Illinois roadways and all across the nation, which is why the NHTSA encourages drivers to be aware of their influence on the road and to hold themselves accountable for their behavior behind the wheel. Doing Your Part to Help Keep Bicyclists Safe Here are some simple ways you can do your part to help keep bicyclists safe when you hit the road: 1. Treat bicyclists as you would other drivers. Did you know that by law, bicyclists are considered vehicles, too? They technically have the same exact rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles. Many drivers are unaware of this simple fact. This means when you are sharing the roadway with bicyclists, you are required to yield to and extend the same driving courtesies to them as you would other motor vehicles. Use your signal, keep a safe, reasonable distance when following behind, and always watch your speed. 2. Do not drive distracted. Distracted driving is deadly no matter what, but driving distracted when surrounded by bicyclists is especially dangerous, as bicyclists have certain disadvantages, such as limited visibility and traveling at lesser speeds. Texting, talking on the phone while driving, interacting with other passengers, or fidgeting with GPS devices can all pull your attention from the road and cause you to miss bicyclists as they navigate the roadways around you. 3. Share the road. Mutual respect is key when it comes to protecting one another on the roadways. As a driver, you should always aim to share the roads with bicyclists. This means respecting their boundaries and making safety priority for you both. Bicyclists are required to follow the same traffic patterns and road rules as vehicle drivers. They must obey the same lights, signals, and road signage. Do not crowd, race around, or drive aggressively around them. Be patient, courteous, and most of all, vigilant.

Despite our best efforts as drivers, sometimes accidents happen. If you have been injured in a bike accident caused by a vehicle driver, it is important to speak with a professional Lake County bike accident attorney the moment you experience a collision. Call Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today at 847-662-3303 for a personal consultation.

Sources:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/Bicycles

https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/bicycle-safety/bicycle-safety

Posted on in Car Accidents

bicycle crashHead injuries can be some of the most traumatic transportation injuries sustained by any road-user across the country. But in major cities like Chicago, where bicycle use has remained at a steady incline in recent years, the rate of head injuries caused in transportation incidents has increased on par. Yet according to WBEZ Chicago, the city’s National Public Radio affiliate, it can be difficult to quantify just how dangerous bike riding really is in the city, when compared to other modes of transportation and recreational activities.

According to WBEZ, the city began tracking specific types of bicycle injuries in April 2010, when reporters began to track the number of “dooring” incidents that occurred within the city limits. “Dooring” refers to an incident in which a cyclist is knocked off his or her bike by a car driver or passenger who opens the door of a parked car into a bike lane at the same time that a cyclist passes. In 2011, WBEZ reports, there were 336 dooring crashes in the Chicago area.

This seems like a small percentage, however, of the 1,302 bike injuries and seven deaths that occurred in the same time period in Chicago. The 2011 figure is significantly reduced from the 2010 figure of 1,583, however, and considerably less than the 2009 figure of 1,402. Still, warns WBEZ, these statistics can be misleading. As more people opt to ride bikes as their main form of transportation, more injuries are bound to occur. Mitigate this with an increased awareness of cyclists on the road and traffic safety measures implemented by the city (such as bike lanes and helmet laws), and the statistics can seem more convoluted than ever.

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Chicago bike accident attorney, Chicago pedestrian accident attorney, hit-and-run, bicycle accident, bike crashes, pedestrian accidents, fleeing the sceneFor many it may seem unfathomable to be involved in an accident and then flee the scene without exchanging information with the other person. Unfortunately, not every driver remains at the scene.

The number of hit-and-run incidents in the U.S. is on the rise. In fact, the number increased more than 13 percent between 2009 and 2011. And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and as reported by USA Today, roughly one in five pedestrian accidents is a hit-and-run.

Pedestrians, however, are not the only victims of hit-and-run accidents. Bicycle riders can be victim to hit-and-runs as well. And as the number of Chicago bicyclists continues to increase, so does the number of accidents involving cyclists. Noted by the Chicago Sun-Times, the number of “bike crashes reported to police rose by 38 percent between 2001 and 2011.” When involved in a hit-and-run accident in Illinois, the most important first step is to record all available information, notes DMV.org. To start, if the crash involved two vehicles, check your car for marks. Write down detailed descriptions of anything you remember about the offending vehicle. Next, take note of any injuries you may have sustained as well as the exact time and day of the incident. Also, look around for possible witnesses. Another set of eyes could help reveal any details you may have missed. Finally, you will then need to contact the police and file a police report, and then contact an accident lawyer. Though it may seem counterintuitive, do not chase the other driver of the car.

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