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IL injury lawyerThe recent death of 32-year-old “School of Rock” actor Kevin Clark in a Chicago bicycle accident is a sobering reminder of the tragic consequences that bicyclists can face when they are hit by a motor vehicle. Each year in Illinois, more than 2,000 bicyclists are injured in car crashes, and unfortunately, some of them do not survive. You should be sure to take all reasonable safety precautions whenever you travel by bicycle, as well as be aware of what you can do if you or a loved one is seriously injured.

Promoting Bicycle Safety in Illinois

As a bicyclist, there are many things you can do to protect yourself from injury in a collision with a car or motor vehicle. These include:

  • Wearing a helmet - Helmets are not legally required for bicyclists in Illinois, but those who wear them are up to 85 percent more likely to avoid a traumatic brain injury.
  • Staying visible - Brightly colored clothing, lights, and reflectors all help make bicyclists more visible to drivers. This is especially important when you are biking at night or early in the morning.
  • Following traffic laws - Biking in the same direction as vehicle traffic, using hand turn signals, and obeying signs and signals at intersections can help you more safely share the road with motor vehicles.
  • Giving space to parked cars - A common cause of bicycle accidents is “dooring,” which happens when the door of a parked car opens into the path of a bicycle. Leaving a few feet of space between yourself and cars parked on the side of the road can help you avoid this.
  • Avoiding high-traffic areas - Serious bike accidents are far more common in urban areas. If you can avoid areas with excessive vehicle traffic, you may be more likely to avoid injury.

Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims for Bicyclists

Unfortunately, bicycle accidents are sometimes inevitable because of a driver’s negligence, whether due to drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding, or some other cause. If you are injured by a negligent driver, you should start working with an attorney as soon as possible to build a strong case for compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. If you lose a close family member in a fatal bicycle accident, you may also be entitled to compensation from the negligent driver through a wrongful death claim.

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Chicago bike accident lawyerRecently, a man was killed in Chicago’s West Humboldt neighborhood in a hit and run accident. The man was found fatally injured with his bicycle was lying next to him. A witness to the accident said that she saw the 42-year-old man riding his bike just minutes before the collision. The accident reminded all Illinoisans of the reality that bicyclists face increased risk of severe and even fatal injuries in collisions with motor vehicles

Bicycle Accidents Statewide 

The huge size and weight differential between bicycles and cars often results in serious harm to cyclists who are involved in a bicycle accident. In the state of Illinois, bicyclists face increased risk of injury due to inclement weather, as well as the urban nature of many of our roadways. In a study conducted in 2014 by the Governors Highway Safety Association, Illinois ranked fifth among all states in bicycle injuries. Since the study was conducted, not much has changed. In 2016 alone, over 3,000 Illinoisans were injured while riding their bicycles. Additionally, 20 bicyclists suffered fatal injuries throughout the state in 2016. 

Nationwide Bike Injuries

Tragically, bicycle injuries are a massive issue throughout the entire country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bicyclists face a much higher risk of fatal injury than those traveling within motor vehicles. In 2015 alone, more than 1,000 Americans were killed in bicycle accidents. Even more alarming is the fact that an incredible 467,000 American cyclists suffered severe injuries throughout 2015. 

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Lake Forest bicycle collision lawyerEvery year, thousands of cyclists around the country are injured in bicycle crashes. Due to the limited protection afforded to cyclists in these collisions, bicycle crashes can be accompanied by severe, and even fatal, injury. Recently, Chicago area cyclists were reminded of the inherent risks they face every time they ride their bike. 

On Tuesday, August 5th, a bicyclist traveling around North Avenue and Clark Street was injured when he was struck by a 2006 Mazda SUV. The driver of the Mazda fled from the scene and was later arrested after colliding with multiple law enforcement vehicles. For bicyclists around the Chicago area, the accident further proves just how dangerous riding your bike can be. 

Bicycle Injuries Nationwide 

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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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fatal bicycle accidents, Lake County personal injury lawyers, bicycle safety, bicycle accidents, fatal bicycle crashesIn collisions between bicycles and automobiles, the chance that a bicyclist will be seriously injured is high. Bicyclists may wear helmets and reflective clothing, follow the rules of the road, and do everything they can to stay safe, but they are often struck by vehicles through no fault of their own, resulting in catastrophic, life-altering injuries.

In recent years, this concern has grown as more and more people use bikes for exercise or to commute to work. According to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, the number of fatal bicycle accidents across the United States hit an all time low of 621 in 2010, but ever since then, it has been increasing, with 818 bicyclists dying in collisions in 2015, the most recent year in which data was available.

Additional Findings about Bicycle Accidents

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