Our Illinois auto accident lawyers read in The Daily Herald that the Chicago suburb of Wheeling is working to create and promote safe paths for pedestrians and cyclists. According to the report, the plan aims to “improve traffic safety, promote economic development and enable residents to lead a healthier lifestyle.” It will also create a public event to inform the community about the plan. The village hopes to create a fully paved bike and walking path which will not only put paths where there were none before, but will also help to link the town to other nearby paths. Overall, the paths and awareness campaign will cost over $1 million, with 80 percent being paid for by a grant from the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program.
As our Chicago car accident attorneys have posted before, the City of Chicago has recently promoted bicycle safety in response to the growing number of people using bikes for transportation around the city. In addition to efforts to raise awareness surrounding safe biking and sharing the road with cyclists, the city has also created a bike rental program and a number of bike lanes. The City of Chicago recommends a seven part safety check that includes: tire air, chain safety, correct wheel spin, making sure tires are free of glass and debris, correct gear shifting, tight handle bars, and solid brake function.
In order to bike safely, cyclists should be properly equipped. Some basic safety equipment for bikers includes helmets, a flat tire fixer, a carrying rack, toe clips for pedaling safety, ankle straps to avoid getting pants caught in the chain, sunglasses or goggles, night and foul weather gear, as well as lights and bells. Maintenance checks are also important for all bikers. It is important to find a bike helmet with a strong rating. The rating can be found inside of the helmet with either a green or blue Snell sticker, or an F1447 certification label. A good, snug fit is also important so that the helmet stay in place. Adjusting the chinstrap and using foam pads in the inside can help ensure the correct fit of the helmet.
When using bike paths in Chicago and those planned paths in Wheeling, cyclists should be courteous to pedestrians on the path. They should yield when in doubt of if they should proceed, or give the other person on the path the right of way. Cyclists should stay to the right except to pass, making sure to signal so pedestrians and other cyclists can see. It is perfectly acceptable to call out comments to others such as, “on your left!” when passing. Lights should be used at night and be placed both in front and back of the pedestrian or cyclists. Slow marks are often posted on paths too; these can be in the form of thick white lines that are painted on the path. It is important to obey all signals on the path, to ensure every user’s safety.
Our Chicago auto accident lawyers support projects such as the Wheeling bike and pedestrian path because it creates a safe place for community members to use and enjoy the outdoors. We hope that other towns will follow in these footsteps to create a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists. Whether on a bike path or city street, cyclists should practice safe biking and always ride with the proper equipment to avoid serious injury.