Articles Posted in Chicago Bicycle Accident

Riding a bicycle is a great way to stay in shape and enjoy the outdoors. With less impact on your knees and lower body, many people choose bicycles as their primary means of exercise, and there are a multitude of other benefits to riding a bike. However, it is important to be aware of the fact that cyclists are far less visible than the vehicles they share the road with, and have virtually nothing to protect them from serious injury in the event of a bicycle accident. While 38,000 bicycle accident injuries is a big number already, it’s likely that the majority of these accidents go unreported. With our days getting shorter, and visibility getting worse on afternoon roads, the fall is a time to be especially cautious. (BicycleInfo)

On Wednesday morning, a Naperville cyclist was killed after being struck by a pickup truck. According to reports from police, the vehicle hit the victim as she was attempting to cross the street near the intersection of Diehl Road and Freedom Drive. The Naperville Fire Department immediately transported the woman to nearby Edward Hospital, but were unable to resuscitate her. Currently, the investigation remains open, and charges have not yet been filed. “There were possibly several different factors involved,” said one official. “But it’s a big, spread out intersection and obviously very busy.” A traffic accident reconstruction unit will continue to study the crash moving forward. (Chicago Tribune)

Our lawyers want to remind our readers to respect one another and share the road. Whether it is daytime, dawn, dusk, nighttime, or in unfavorable weather conditions, make sure to always see and be seen. If you are a cyclist, wear something that reflects light, or use flashing lights to make yourself known to the automobiles around you. Never assume that just because you can see a driver, he or she can see you. If you are a driver, always keep an eye out for bicyclists in your blind spots and at intersections, and slow down when passing a bicyclist on the road. In urban centers such as Chicago, it is also especially important that drivers look before they open their doors when parking on the side of a street. Parked cars opening their doors abruptly is a frequent cause of accidents, as it forced bicyclists to swerve into traffic to avoid hitting your vehicle. All of these things are just the tip of the iceberg, but to find out more about bicycle safety, visit www.NHTSA.gov.

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.

Nearly 700 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic accidents in 2011, and another 48,000 people were sent to the hospital after sustaining serious injuries. As a Chicago based personal injury law firm, we have represented victims in all types of accident cases and know that bike accidents typically occur in urban areas. The number of people killed while biking is up 9% compared to 2010 so we feel that it is now more important than ever for our readers to take precautions when riding their bikes in and around Chicago this summer.

Not unlike motorcycles, bicycles make their riders extremely vulnerable to traumatic injury in an automobile accident. There are no steel cages surrounding you, no airbags, no crumple zones to absorb impact, and no built in safety features; when an accident happens, it is just you, the vehicle, and the hard ground.

Bicycles and motorcycles share a relatively small stature when compared to the larger passenger vehicles on the road. Both can become easily lost in blind spots, and many drivers fail to share the road with them, posing significant dangers to riders. However, in one crucial aspect, a bicycle is even more likely to fall below a driver’s radar, and that is sound. Even with all of the hazards that come with driving a motorcycle in the city, most people will hear a motorcycle before they see it. Without a motor, a bicyclist is often able to go unnoticed and unheard in a blind spot, and this is one of the biggest reasons why 59% of all bicycle fatalities happen while the rider is traveling down the side of a road, as opposed to at an intersection. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Many different transportation agencies encourage bicycling as an enjoyable and healthy alternative mode of transportation to motor vehicles. However, riding your bike in your local roadways, especially those in urban centers like Chicago, can come with very real safety concerns. According to the law, bicycles on the roadways are vehicles with the same rights and responsibilities as the larger passenger vehicles that they share the road with, but their injuries are often far more severe.

May is national bicycle safety month, but our lawyers as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believe that this issue is something that should be discussed everyday. The NHTSA’s bicycle safety program, a partnership between themselves, and AAA encourages all people to “model behaviors to enhance the safety of all road users, including those who bicycle.” That means modeling undistracted driving and riding, and always being ready to react to the unexpected when on the road. All of this contributes to a common end goal, sharing the road between vehicle drivers (both motorists and bicyclists) and showing mutual respect to keep everyone safe.

Like a motorcyclist or pedestrian, a bicyclist has little to no protection against the metal frames of the vehicles around them, and this greatly increases their risk for head, neck and spinal cord injuries. We represent clients in both Chicago and the greater state of Illinois that have had their life altered by bicycle accidents. We also provide much needed guidance to families that have lost a loved one as a result of the reckless and negligent conduct of another person. When these accidents happen, the deleterious effects can range from impaired cognitive function to an inability to perform everyday physical tasks, and either of these things can change your professional and social life. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Well, it looks like the nice weather is here to stay, so our lawyers thought it would be best to keep the ball rolling with more information on your favorite summer activities. In our last post we talked about the negative effects associated with pedestrian car accidents, but bicycle accidents are an equally important subject to touch on as the temperature starts to rise.

Roughly 20 million bicycles are sold each year in the United States, and Chicago is an especially bike crazed city. While bikes are a low impact, fun way to get and stay healthy, they are not always easy to for other drivers to see, especially when riding in blind spots or quickly crossing a street. In 2011, 677 bicyclists lost their lives in motor vehicle-bicycle traffic accidents, and another 50,000 were seriously injured. In a time of technological innovation, increased regulation, and cutting edge safety measures, bicycling is one of the few areas where we have seen a rise in total fatalities over the past few years. (League of American Bicyclists)

About 70% of these accidents occur in urban areas, and new data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that if you are in you are a male in your mid forties or early fifties, you are especially at risk of being killed by a vehicle. Younger bicyclists, such as the 16-20 year-old demographic are the most likely group to be hit by a vehicle, but more times than not they are able to escape with only injuries. What many people don’t know is that while a significant amount of vehicle-bicycle accidents require a trip to the emergency room, these visits are not tallied when determining annual totals, so the 50,000 injuries listed above represent the most severe cases among the more than 500,000 people visiting hospitals because of accidents every year. (NHTSA)

This is an article about bicycles… in early March. You are probably saying “but wait…? It’s still too cold to ride my bike blog!” Well, you would be very wrong. Bicyclists from all around the region are flocking to the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Physical Education building for today’s third annual Bike Swap. Cyclists want to remind Chicagoland riders that just because of Chicago’s frigid winters, this is no time to put your bike into storage.

Nearly 90 bike-friendly businesses and sellers will be on site today to capitalize on what one official called Chicago’s “unique bike culture”, which seems to indicate a year round commitment to exercise and alternative means of transportation. The bike swap will feature multiple sessions covering many bike related issues, the most pertinent two exploring the nature of riding in a big city, and how to handle a bicycle accident. (Chicago Tribune)

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, well over 60 million people at least occasionally ride their bikes in the United States. However, every year more than 50,000 of these people are injured as a result of bicycle-vehicle traffic accidents. Informative events like bike swap are indicative of the many efforts being made to curb the number of cyclist-pedestrian accidents, and it appears to be working. The latest United States bicycle statistics show a 12 % drop in pedestrian biking fatalities compared to last year, and this number has steadily fallen over the past few years.

For millions of Americans, biking is a fun and low impact way of staying fit. In recent years, the City of Chicago has made a number of infrastructure changes to make cycling safer for residents. However, despite the fact that miles and miles of bike lanes cover the Chicago streets, cyclists should be aware that urban riding has its dangers.

Last Friday, nearly one hundred cyclists from all around Chicago gathered at the corner of Oak and Wells streets to install a ghost bike memorial, and pay their respects to a North Side man struck and killed by a motorist earlier this month. (Chicago Tribune)

While much of the crowd was still struggling to make peace with the sudden death of a friend and fellow cyclist, others were attempting to shed a positive light on this tragedy.

In previous blogs, our Chicago car accident lawyers have discussed how bicyclists are too commonly victims in serious accidents caused by inattentive or negligent motorists, in addition to the steps drivers can take to avoid an accident with a bicyclist. Surprisingly, the tables were turned earlier this month when an unusual accident left a bicyclist at fault, according to Geneva police.

Geneva.patch.com states that the accident took place around 8:40am at the intersection of Batavia Avenue (Route 31) and Fargo Boulevard. A 46-year old woman of Geneva was riding her bike north along the east side of Batvia Avenue, south of Fargo Boulevard, while a 42-year old motorist, also of Geneva, was driving her car on Fargo Boulevard in the eastbound lane, approaching Batvia Avenue. The bicyclist then began crossing four lanes of traffic to turn left onto Fargo. The car proceeded to turn right and did not see the bicyclist approaching, resulting in a collision with the left side of the bicycle and the bicyclist flying to the ground.

The report states that the bicyclist sustained an abrasion on her left elbow, and no injuries to the motorist took place. According to police and witnesses, the bicyclist admitted that she cut the corner of the road prematurely, and as a result was issued a warning notice for an improper lane turn. Travel near the intersection of the accident was not affected.
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A 10-year-old boy died recently after being struck by a car in Broadview, Illinois. The boy was riding his bike when a 17-year-old driver hit him, according to The Chicago Tribune. The boy died in the hospital a day after the accident. The Broadview Police Department is currently investigating the causes and circumstances of the accident.

Our Chicago car accident lawyers recognize the compounded misfortune in the case due to the fact that both people involved were minors. No parent wants to lose their child or see their child suffer. Unfortunately, the age group in which drivers are most likely to be involved in accidents is teenagers, ranging from 16 to 19-years-old.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published some enlightening statistics on this age group. 16-year-old drivers have higher crash rates than drivers of any other age, approximately doubling the crash rate per mile driven of 18 and 19-year-olds. 18 percent of all car crash fatalities in the U.S. involved a teenage driver. In 2009, two thirds of teenagers killed in motor vehicle crashes were male. Clearly, the prevalence of teen driving accidents is a real concern. So what are the likely causes of such statistics?

For one, teenage drivers and passengers are the age group least likely to wear seat belts. Further, 55 percent of vehicle occupants’ ages 16 to 20 that were killed in accidents were not buckled up. Seatbelts are the foremost protection in fatal car crashes, and thus, it is no surprise that the age group forgoing such protection subsequently has one of the highest fatality rates.
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A 23-year-old woman died recently when an ice cream hit her while she was riding her bike, reports The Chicago Tribune. The woman was a mother of three children, ages five, three, and one, respectively. She was hit while crossing a busy intersection the South Side of Chicago. Judging by the severity of her injuries, her family remarked that the 23-year-old had to have been hit with significant impact. Injuries included severe bruising across her entire body.

The driver of the ice cream truck has quite a patchy history when it comes to traffic violations. Illinois Secretary of State’s records show that the driver received tickets in 2001, 2009, and 2010, as well as having had her license suspended at least once for failure to carry auto insurance. In this incident, the driver has been cited for “driving while license suspended or revoked; operating a vehicle without insurance; violating restrictions on her driver’s license; driving an unsafe vehicle.”

The family of the deceased is understandably upset. Our Chicago bike accident attorneys recognize the hard time families can have coping with their losses. This is especially true when the family sees all the damage done to their loved one before they pass away, as was true in this case. Even worse, the woman’s family lost another family member, who was killed by a drunk driver in an accident, only five years ago. The family is seeking answers, and hopefully they will be resolved soon. The case will be in traffic court in early September.
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