In most posts related to bicyclists, we discuss the dangers they face when sharing the road with larger vehicles. However, earlier this month, our Chicago bicycle accident attorneys read in The Wall Street Journal that some new studies have recently surfaced, discussing cyclists and the dangers they pose. The article reported that bicycles are not only dangerous for the riders, but also to pedestrians who are on the streets. A study showed that each year, bicyclists could cause up to 1,000 pedestrian injuries in urban cities, such as Chicago.
Addressing the study regarding cyclists causing injuries to non-cyclists, some say that this could be related to the rapid increase in the amount of bicyclists that are on the road in the past five years. The average of 1,000 pedestrian injuries per year by bicyclists includes those who have been admitted to hospitals for treatment. In Chicago, our team has noticed an increase in the number of bicyclists on the streets. The City has made changes to accommodate this increase, including opening a number of bike lanes. Bike lanes can not only help to prevent accidents between cars and bikes, but will also hopefully lower the number of accidents between bikes and pedestrians, since bicyclists will not have to ride on the sidewalks to avoid obstacles on the streets.
There is some controversy regarding this recent study, however, because it seems as though the researchers have supplied these numbers without addressing the context as to where they apply. For example, urban cities such as Chicago are more likely to have a higher population, with more pedestrians so it is inaccurate to generalize these statistics to other parts of the nation. The Wall Street Journal continues on to say that many of the pedestrian injuries were minor and easily treated.
Our Chicago bicycle accident lawyers acknowledge that although some data can be misrepresented, it is still evident that there is a correlation between an increase in bikes on the streets and pedestrian accidents. We encourage our readers to take all of this information into account, and to be especially careful of pedestrians when cycling in an area that has a dense pedestrian representation.