The Chicago Tribune reported this week on a debate about bike safety being waged by local bicyclists and state officials. Local laws recently changed to improve bike safety on city streets, and advocates are hoping that the state will keep track of certain Illinois bike accidents. However, the Illinois Department of Transportation is refusing the honor the request.
Specifically, bike advocates are hoping that “dooring” accidents will be measured. These crashes involve a car door being opened in the path of a bicyclist. Many serious injuries and even death have resulted from these sorts of crashes in the past several years. But, these bike accidents will not be measured by IDOT, because the vehicles involved in these crashes are not moving.
An informal survey conducted by a bike advocacy group argues that more than half of all respondents have been involved in a “dooring” accident at least once. No formal polling or research has been conducted, however. As a result of the data void, it is difficult to apply for federal and state safety grants to address the problem. It is for that reason that advocates requested that IDOT report on these accidents.
Following IDOT’s denial, many bicyclists are pursuing state legislation which would mandate the reporting.
Our Chicago car accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti understand that our roadways are filled with much more than cars: bicycles, pedestrians, skateboards, rollerblades, buses, trucks, and other moving machines all use the same areas. The mix is a testament to the diversity of our city, but it also presents a particularly dangerous combination of movement. It is vital for all travelers to understand the variety of risks on and near roadways. Tragic death and injuries will only be avoided when everyone takes the time to exercise proper care at all times. If you or someone you know falls victim to the negligence of another, be sure to contact an Illinois injury lawyer to learn of your legal rights.
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