Articles Posted in Bicycle Accident

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.
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Bicycling serves many positive purposes in people’s lives. It is a source of exercise and fun activity to share with family and friends. In addition to leisure or exercise, it is also a source of transportation. By cycling instead of taking a car, we also help the environment by reducing carbon emissions. However, because we share our roads with large motor vehicles, dangers can be presented to many cyclists and bike accidents can occur.

In a recent bicycle accident, a man was dragged by a garbage truck and suffered personal injuries, according to an article by the Boston Globe. The cyclist was using a bicycle rented from the city’s bike-sharing program, similar to that of Divvy of Chicago. The accident occurred after a garbage truck made a turn at an intersection, which caused the bicyclist to be dragged underneath with his leg trapped. Firefighters had to extricate the cyclist from the truck, which took half of an hour.
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As you know, the summer is a statistically high time for truck and motor vehicle accidents. With the weather being nice and many people on vacations heading to local events in the city, there is a higher number of both pedestrians and vehicles out on the streets. Chicago has also become an especially popular place to bike, both for leisure and commuting, with the additions of bike lane and Divvy rental bicycles. However, when combining increased numbers of bikers with increased numbers of drivers, who many are unfortunately negligent, accidents occur.

According to recent news by DNA Info Chicago, a truck collided with a cyclist on Chicago’s northwest side, killing the cyclist. In the neighborhood of Portage Park, a 28-year-old woman was killed in a crash with a truck. She was an avid cyclist who took her bike everywhere, and had been riding for four years. While she was riding north on Cicero Avenue, a cement truck turned right onto Belmond Avenue hitting her. She was rushed to the local hospital but died later in the day from multiple injuries. According to the Chicago Police, it is still unclear whether the truck driver did not see the cyclist or whether she had been coming up quickly while he made a turn. The accident is still under investigation, as detectives are talking to witnesses and looking over surveillance footage.
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It is important that everyone on the road obeys traffic laws to avoid injuries to others. This applies to both motorists and bicycles alike. However, bicycle accidents are unfortunately all too common, both due to motorist and cyclist negligence. In 2011 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported on its website that 677 cyclist deaths nationwide. As Chicago is a city popular for cycling for leisure and commuting, and is continuing to grow in popularity still, our attorneys believe this statistic is way too high and promote roadway safety to ensure that our Chicago cyclists are free from harm.

According to news by KWTX an eight-year-old boy was transported to a local hospital in critical condition after being hit by a truck while riding his bicycle. Sadly, after two days in the hospital in critical condition, he passed away. According to witnesses, the boy was riding his bicycle on the side of the road and did not stop at the stop sign of the intersection. He then rode into traffic and into the path of a pickup truck. The driver was unable to stop in time or avoid hitting the child. Authorities say the boy was not wearing a helmet at the time.

While it is unclear from the article whether the pickup truck driver engaged in any negligent driving like excessive speeding or distracted driving. This example should also serve as a reminder to parents of the importance of teaching bike safety rules to their children and acting as role models for bike safety themselves. Not only should children be monitored at all times while at play, but caregivers should provide children with all protective measures possible, such as helmets and reflectors for bicycle use.
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