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Staying Safe As a Summer Cyclist in Chicago and Northern Illinois

Posted on in Bicycle Accidents

Gurnee bicycle accident attorneyAs the weather throughout the greater Chicago area continues to rise in temperature, more and more Chicagoans are electing to ride their bikes as a means of transportation and recreation. Commuting via bike has become a prominent alternative to driving throughout the United States. With zero carbon output and a number of health benefits, it is no surprise that more Americans are riding their bicycles than ever. Still, bicycling comes with risk. 

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 835 American bicyclists were fatally injured in collisions involving motor vehicles throughout 2016. The high fatality rate represented an increase from 2015 and was the highest nationwide cyclist death count since 1991. The next time you or your family enjoy a bike ride, practice extreme caution. In the event of a bicycle accident, it is important to understand how to obtain compensation that will address your damages and help you recover from your injuries. 

Staying Safe This Summer

Here in the Chicago area, cyclists face increased risk of injury due to the sheer number of motor vehicles and the correspondingly crowded urban roadways. The IIHS states that 71% of all bicycle fatalities occur in urban areas. If you plan to ride your bike downtown this summer, these safety tips may help you avoid injury:

Make Yourself Visible: In 2016, 22% of all cycling deaths throughout the United States occurred within the time frame of 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. If you are planning to ride your bike at night this summer, it would be wise to invest in bright, vibrantly colored biking attire, as well as reflectors and bicycle lights. Making yourself visible to motor vehicle drivers can be crucial to ensuring your safety. 

Do Not Drink and Ride: Despite the fact that DUI laws still apply to cyclists, many cyclists choose to drink and ride. Unsurprisingly, more than one in five American cyclists fatally injured in 2016 had a blood alcohol content at or higher than 0.08 percent. The summer months consistently bring substantial increases in DUI arrests and alcohol-related fatalities nationwide. Proceed with caution while riding your bike this summer and avoid alcohol consumption.  

Wear Your Helmet: Nationwide cycling fatalities have fallen substantially over the last few decades. The decline in bicycle deaths can be primarily attributed to the increase in safety measures and an increase in helmet usage. Still, many Americans choose to ride their bikes without a helmet, and in many cases, that decision can prove fatal. After extensive research, the IIHS concluded that over half of all American riders fatally injured throughout 2016 were not wearing a helmet. If you plan to ride, be sure to wear your helmet. 

Contact a Libertyville Bicycle Accident Lawyer

In 2010, the United States reached its lowest all-time point in annual bicyclist fatalities. Since then, annual fatal injuries to cyclists have risen by 34%. Riding your bike is a fun, healthy, and sustainable way to travel, but it does come with inherent dangers. If you or a member of your family are injured in a cycling accident this summer, you deserve all the guidance and help you need. For additional information, contact the experienced team of Lake County personal injury attorneys at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. Call 847-662-3303 to arrange a free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/pedestrians-and-bicyclists/fatalityfacts/bicycles

http://yieldtolife.org/tips/cyclists

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