It is no surprise to hear that bike accidents between vehicles and cyclists often result in the cyclist suffering serious personal injuries or death. In and around the Chicago area we have thousands of people each day taking to the streets on bikes to travel to and from work or other destinations and also for exercise or leisure. As a result of the high volume of bikes on our roads and streets, our attorneys frequently read or hear news of accidents involving cyclists. Unfortunately, this week was no exception.
According to an article by the NWI Times, and bicyclist from Bartlett was killed in a collision with a tanker truck while biking in Lansing. Illinois State Police said the bicyclist was traveling on the ramp to eastbound Interstate 80/94 when he was struck by the tanker. The bicyclist died at the scene of the accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stresses that by law, bicycles are vehicles and have the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles. That is why it is so important that all users of the road, bicyclists and drivers of motor vehicles, are educated on the laws, respect one another on the road, employ safe and vigilant behavior, and abide by their legal duty to not cause injury to others. Bicycle accidents take too many lives and account for a significant number of deaths in traffic accidents. Unfortunately this number has been on the rise since 2003, also according to the NHTSA. In the year 2003, there were 42,884 fatalities overall from traffic crashes, and 629 of these were cyclist fatalities. In the year 2012 though, there were 33,561 fatalities overall from traffic crashes, and 726 of these were cyclist fatalities. Of the deaths in 2012, 69% of the cyclist deaths occurred in urban areas, and almost half occurred from 4 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. The location of these deaths may convey that motorists and cyclists are not sharing the road well and doing what they can to respect one another and keep each other safe.