In general, a bicycle is a low impact exercise. That means bikers can get many tremendous benefits while subjecting their bodies to minimal wear and tear. This is one of the reasons why cycling is so popular, and why 30% of the American population owns a bike. The good news is that cycling is getting safer; since 1995, the number of fatalities from bicycle accidents has dropped nearly 20%. However, we aren’t out of the woods yet. 17,000 cyclists are killed and injured in road accidents every year, and that is still far too many individuals. 75% of fatal collisions happen in urban areas, and 80% of all biking accidents occur in broad daylight, with clear visibility. Living in some of Illinois larger cities such as Chicago, Rockford, Springfield and Bloomington, we need to be especially cognizant of the bicycles we share the road with, and take measures to ensure that everyone remains safe. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
Yesterday, a Rockford bicyclist died after sustaining head and abdominal injuries in a collision with a Chevy Trailblazer. Earlier this week, news crews had reported that the 71-year-old man, who was an avid rider, was traveling through an intersection around 3:30 p.m. when he crashed into the side of the moving vehicle. The article added that the man was being transported to a local hospital for treatment. Our lawyers would like to extend our sympathies, thoughts, and prayers to the family of the deceased. (WREX)
Unfortunately, this accident can be used to highlight many truisms. Bereft of airbags, crumple zones, and steel enclosures to use as protection, riders are far more susceptible to serious traumatic injuries, and it is much more likely that complications from these injuries could lead to death. Additionally, as we stated above, it is not uncommon for these accidents to occur in broad daylight. As a bicyclist or driver, it is important to remember that your ability to clearly see another person doesn’t necessarily mean that they can see you, or that they are looking for you. Practice defensive driving and riding when you are on the road, and always have the awareness to react when necessary. This may not guarantee that you will avoid an accident altogether, but it will certainly lessen its severity.
A 20% decrease in fatalities is a good start, but it is up to all of us to ensure that bicycle fatalities continue to wane. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a bicycle accident, or you think you might have another type of wrongful injury case, feel free to call us. Our lawyers are always available for a free consultation.