And these accidents claimed the lives of a dozen cyclists. The distribution of these accidents throughout the city is pretty even, with a slightly higher concentration of accidents reported in the Loop, which is probably to be expected. With that being said, the obvious exception is Milwaukee Avenue, where drivers are evidently playing human Frogger with cyclists. Cyclists, watch out for those doors!
Our Chicago Personal Lawyer Blog recently reported that our city is trying to increase safety for bicyclists. And we recently noted all of the improvements being made through the Chicago Bicycle Program. Meanwhile, Mayor Emanuel is still working at fulfilling his promise of 100 more miles of safe bike routes to help increase safety for cyclists throughout the city.
In the last year, the city has opened 20 miles of new bike lanes, about 10 miles or newly marked shared lanes, about 2 miles of protected bike lanes, a mile of bike lanes with brand new striping and a mile of newly buffered bicycle lanes. While these improvements are wonderful, they don’t mean much without cooperation from motorists. Drivers still need to be aware of their surroundings and of cyclists near and on our roadways. These two-wheeled travelers are extremely vulnerable in the event of an accident with a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, many of these accidents end in death.
Right now, there are nearly 120 miles of on-street bike lanes, over 30 miles of shared marked bike lanes, a number of off-street biking paths, nearly 15,000 bicycle racks and high-capacity, sheltered, bike parking areas at CTA stations around the city. It’s no wonder why residents and visitors take advantage of these amenities. Officials in Chicago are working diligently to make this city a mecca for bicyclists.
Bicycle Accident Statistics, (Illinois, 2008), according to My Fox Chicago:
-Nearly 30 bicyclists were killed.
-Nearly 3,390 bicyclists were injured.
-The yearly estimated costs for these kinds of accidents are close to $10 billion.
-The average age of cyclists who were killed was 41-years-old. More than a third of all fatal bicycle accidents occurred to riders between the ages of 35- and 54-years-old.
-About 80 percent of the accident victims were men.
Riders are asked to hit our streets with a plan. Preparation is the best step is helping to prevent an accident. While you’re at it, make sure you check out the Chicago Bike Map.
Lastly, remember to stay out of the “Door Zone.” This is the 4-foot area alongside a parked car. This is where many cyclists experience “dooring,” when a cyclist is injured after running into an unexpected opening car door. When riding in a bike lane, ride on the left side of the lane-at least 4 feet from parked cars.
If you or someone in your family has been injured or killed in a bicycling accident, contact the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.
More Blog Entries:
CDOT Still Working to Achieve Goals to Reduce Risks of Bicycle Accidents in Chicago, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 27, 2012
Pedestrian and Bicycling Accidents in Chicago Might Increase after Metra Fare Hike, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 20, 2012