12315Chicago’s reputation as a bicycle-friendly city is one that is only growing as time passes. With the addition of miles of protected bicycle lanes, bicycle paths, cycle-only traffic signals, shared lane markings, and bike friendly areas, those who choose to ride in the city have countless ways to do so in a relatively reasonable and convenient manner. Unfortunately, though, even with all the additions to cycling safety that now permeate much of downtown, bicycle accidents continue to happen every week in Illinois and many leave devastation in their wake. From property damage to a bicycle to the physical injuries sustained by a rider, the damages from a collision may be significant and may prevent a cyclist from leading a normal life while he or she recovers.

In an urban setting, a left cross bicycle accident is a constant risk. It can happen when a cyclist riding straight through an intersection is struck by a motorist traveling in the opposite direction and turning left. In these situations, both the cyclist and the left turning driver have a green light but it is duty of the left turning motorist to yield until traffic is clear. While it may be easy to notice an oncoming car, truck, or SUV, it can be more challenging to see a small bicycle as it approaches, increasing the odds of a collision between a turning car and a straight riding bicycle.

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112515Chicago is a city that bursts with activity twelve months of the year. It can be hard to say that any specific time or season is more packed with an event,, than others but thanks in part to Chicago’s great outdoor venues, wonderful summer weather, and cold and snowy winters, now is the time of year when bands flock to the city to play for their loyal fans. In addition to numerous music festivals that take place in the summer, stand-alone concerts are happening at venues as big as Soldier Field and as small as the neighborhood bar you like to visit.

It is great to take advantage of this fun part of calling Chicago home but unfortunately, not everything associated with these concerts can be considered positive. Due to an increase in local traffic and confused motorists, car accidents and pedestrians collisions tend to be more common at and near concert venues in the hours immediately preceding and following a show than they are when a venue remains empty. Often, people who just want to have a good time end up the victims of these accidents and they may suffer from injuries due to the mistakes of another, like a driver who was distracted or was mistaken about the proper path to travel.

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4116Uber has exploded on the Chicago transportation scene in recent years. More and more people are opting to make Uber their go-to means of transit and favoring the ride share program over taxi cabs, personal cars, and even L trains and buses. As Uber expands, the company has been looking at innovating in new ways to keep their edge and to make themselves the first choice in rides for Americans as well as those in cities across the world. After all, Uber’s presence in 506 cities globally makes them a force to be reckoned with and that is unlikely to change for some time.

Today, Uber is making headlines as it has announced its plans to introduce self-driving vehicles in at least one major market and to have those vehicles on public roadways as early as this month. Illinois Uber users will not be experiencing these automated rides yet but those who grab an Uber in Pittsburg could have an entirely new type of experience.

Uber reports that its first fleet of self-driving vehicles will arrive in the Pittsburg area as a test market to see how these vehicles provide rides to Uber customers. The Volvo XC90s will drive themselves but will not be unmanned on the roads as an engineer will be behind the wheel and a co-pilot will also be present. Uber claims that the engineer will be able to take over in the event of a risky situation or an emergency, thereby ensuring the safety of passengers while this self-driving technology is still advancing.

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81516Far too often, people who drive cars, trucks, and SUVs in Illinois fail to seriously consider the threat they pose to others on the roadways. One of the biggest concerns these drivers should face is their own personal conduct and how it contributes to or detracts from the safety of those in the area. Driving a reasonable speed, allowing others to merge, using turn signals, and leaving plenty of distance between your vehicle and others around you are all responsible actions. Tailgating, aggressively swerving in and out of lanes of traffic, speeding, and driving while distracted are behaviors that put a driver’s own interests before safety and that lead to millions of car accidents in the nation every year.

Motorcyclists fall victim to the actions of others with regularity in Chicago. Though bikers have the right to ride and to do so freely, other drivers often ignore of threaten that right with their conduct, leading to motorcycle accidents and other bike-related incidents that cause physical injuries and financial harm to victims. While bikers who are hurt may be entitled to seek relief through a personal injury claim and with the help of an attorney, it is always better to avoid these accidents long before they take place.

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51316Year after year, workers in the State of Illinois find themselves blindsided when they get hurt while working. Some are employed in industries that have danger readily present, including those in the construction industry, those working an assembly line position, and those who deal with heavy machinery. Others are employed in industries where threats may be less obvious like office jobs, sales positions, or even telemarketers.

The type of job that you work does not affect whether you have rights if you are involved in a work injury. Rather, the laws in the Chicago area are clear: if you are on-the-job and performing your duties, you have the right to seek relief for the harm done to you. This means you can get the medical treatment you need to become well again and have that treatment paid for by your employer. It also means that you are entitled to be paid for time you miss from work due to your injuries including the time you miss during a recovery period. You also may be entitled to a bodily injury settlement to address the totality of your damages once your injuries and harm have been ascertained.

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8816The summer season is the prime time for motorcyclists to hit the open road. Whether heading out on a multi-state road trip or just a cruise along Lake Shore Driver, May through September is the best season for motorcyclists in Chicago.

However, as the temperature rises the number of accidents involving motorcycles increases as well.

Cook County repeatedly reports the highest number of motorcycle fatalities in Illinois, which is no surprise considering the often congested traffic on highways, interstates, and city streets. This congestion is made worse by summer travel and the flood of tourism the Chicago area experiences during summer months.

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31416Every 36 hours in Chicago a crash occurs that involves a CTA bus. After reviewing crash data and injury reports in September 2015 a local news team discovered this frightening statistic. Given the fact that there 1,888 CTA buses that operate 130 routes across 1,301 miles, and the typical bus will make around 19,000 stops daily, it is not too surprising to find buses have high crash statistics.

The CTA is the second largest transportation system in the country, with over 1.6 million rides taken on an average weekday, so it is no surprise that a majority of Illinois residents depend on the CTA to get around, especially in the Chicago area. Thus it is important for all Chicagoans, even those who don’t frequent public transportation, to know their rights if an accident were to occur.

Given the large size of buses and the numerous people who are often riding inside, many of whom are standing, when collisions occur numerous and severe injuries can result. The driver and bus passengers as well as those outside the bus can sustain injuries during a bus collision.

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20140424_084736A recent truck accident in a southern Chicago suburb is bringing renewed attention to the dangers posed by large vehicles on public roadways as well as reminding motorists of what they should do to keep themselves as safe as possible.

Because of semi-truck’s large size, when one is involved in a collision the results can be disastrous. The maximum weight of a semi-truck and full trailer is 80,000 pounds, while the average passenger vehicle weighs less than 3,500 pounds, meaning a semi-truck can be 22 times the size of a car. With this it is easy to see how a collision with a big rig can be deadly, especially when factoring in high speeds and potentially dangerous cargo.

Almost 4,000 people lose their lives in large truck accidents every year, and truck driver fatigue shares a large portion of the blame. Although most truck drivers are responsible and abide by hours of service rules, there are many who ignore regulations.

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122915Thanks to awareness campaigns like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, community involvement, and law enforcement crackdowns the number of drunk driving deaths in America has been cut in half since the 80s. However, drunk driving remains a serious problem in Illinois and across the country.

It is estimated there are over 121 million drunk driving incidents yearly, and in 2014 alcohol related crashes in Illinois saw a 9.2% increase from the previous four year average. So although there has been significant improvement in deterring drunk driving there is much work to be done.

Many hoped that ride-sharing apps like Lyft and Uber would help to decrease high incident numbers, but recent studies report that is not the case. A study at University of Southern California and Oxford University examined drunk driving data before and after ride sharing apps entered the market and found no effect on drinking related or holiday and weekend related fatalities.

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41316(2)Rooftop BBQs, long days at the beach, and an endless string of parades, festivals, and concerts make Chicago the place to be once the temperature rises. City residents, Illinois suburbanites, and families from across the Midwest flock to our great city to see what Chicago summertime has to offer. Many residents also take advantage of the warm weather to travel elsewhere and vacation with family or friends.

However, a deadly trend accompanies the sunshine and fun: the 100 deadliest days. The 100 deadliest days span from Memorial Day to Labor Day, creating a spike in death rates caused by motor vehicle collisions. These numbers especially increase for teen drivers, with around 1,022 people perishing in accidents involving teens within those 100 days of summer each year. That’s around 10 lives lost every day.

During the summer motor vehicle collision rates experience a significant increase. With young and inexperienced drivers free from their textbooks, tourists coming into the city, and residents exiting, there are more vehicles on the road creating a higher chance for collisions. Chicago and the whole state of Illinois experience increased traffic and congestion on expressways making travel more dangerous.

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