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Types of Bicycle Crashes in Chicago

Posted on in Car Accidents

bicycle crashHead injuries can be some of the most traumatic transportation injuries sustained by any road-user across the country. But in major cities like Chicago, where bicycle use has remained at a steady incline in recent years, the rate of head injuries caused in transportation incidents has increased on par. Yet according to WBEZ Chicago, the city’s National Public Radio affiliate, it can be difficult to quantify just how dangerous bike riding really is in the city, when compared to other modes of transportation and recreational activities.

According to WBEZ, the city began tracking specific types of bicycle injuries in April 2010, when reporters began to track the number of “dooring” incidents that occurred within the city limits. “Dooring” refers to an incident in which a cyclist is knocked off his or her bike by a car driver or passenger who opens the door of a parked car into a bike lane at the same time that a cyclist passes. In 2011, WBEZ reports, there were 336 dooring crashes in the Chicago area.

This seems like a small percentage, however, of the 1,302 bike injuries and seven deaths that occurred in the same time period in Chicago. The 2011 figure is significantly reduced from the 2010 figure of 1,583, however, and considerably less than the 2009 figure of 1,402. Still, warns WBEZ, these statistics can be misleading. As more people opt to ride bikes as their main form of transportation, more injuries are bound to occur. Mitigate this with an increased awareness of cyclists on the road and traffic safety measures implemented by the city (such as bike lanes and helmet laws), and the statistics can seem more convoluted than ever.

Statistics are also lacking in a report of pedestrian-cyclist crashes and cyclist-cyclist crashes. Some cyclists who commute every day told WBEZ that they are far more concerned about hitting a pedestrian than a car. One such rider told WBEZ that oftentimes “people are talking on a cell phone and not paying attention as they walk into intersections,” which can cause serious injuries for both the pedestrian and the cyclist. Statisticians say that there is no estimate can be made regarding how likely a person is to crash on his or her bicycle.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a bicycle or motor vehicle accident in the Chicago area, the most important step is to seek the counsel of a qualified attorney. Contact an experienced Wheaton motor vehicle accident attorney today.

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