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Increased Number of Cyclists Leads to Increased Cyclist Crashes

Posted on in Distracted Driving Accidents

Chicago bike accident attorney, CTA transit stations, cyclist crashes, traffic crashes, traffic accidents, traffic calming techniques, severe crash locations, driver education, bicycle accidentsThe trend of people opting to ride bicycles as a primary form of transportation has taken off in recent years. American cities have joined their European counterparts in offering expansive bike lane routes, aesthetically interesting bike lock areas, and bike-only areas of town. By most rankings, Chicago is in the top ten of bike-friendliest cities in the nation, featuring valet bike parking for riders all over the city.

A recent publication from the City of Chicago website reports that there are 170 miles of bike lanes, in addition to the 18.5-mile Lakefront off-street bike Trail. Other new improvements to the cycling culture of Chicago include sheltered bike parking at CTA transit stations and 13,000 on-street bike lock racks. As a result, according to the City of Chicago report, the Windy City has seen a 150 percent increase in the number of regular riders.

Yet with increased numbers of riders, of course, comes an increased number of accidents. As the number of bike riders continues to grow, safety measures—or awareness of riding culture—has not kept apace. In 2005, only 6.7 percent of all traffic crashes involved bicycles; that number had risen to 9.8 percent in 2010.

The City of Chicago reports that most of these accidents are preventable, and could be mitigated with the increased awareness of all city residents. Between 2005 and 2010, 32 Chicagoans were killed in bike accidents. The vast majority of these were at intersections.

Initiatives announced by the City of Chicago, meant to make bike accidents less frequent and less lethal, include design improvements at intersections, an expanded network of bike lanes, and implementation of “traffic calming techniques to slow speeds at severe crash locations.” Educational outreach initiatives include an enhanced driver education and marketing campaigns meant to increase awareness of bicycle culture.

If you are injured in a bike accident, you could be eligible for compensation. If you are hit while on a bike, the most important first step is to take down the license plate of the responsible car and, if possible, the driver’s information. If you were not following basic traffic rules when the crash occurred, you may not be able to file a personal injury suit, but you should always seek the counsel of a traffic attorney. Contact Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today.

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