A Chicago driver was traveling in the 7800 block of West Irving Park Road late Tuesday night when the driver struck an elderly bicyclist, killing him. The cyclist, an 83-year-old Chicago resident, was taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Both the driver and the cyclist were reportedly riding westbound on Irving Park when a collision occurred in the Dunning neighborhood. It is not clear exactly how the two collided but police have placed the driver of the car at fault and stated that the driver has been cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision.
The area where this collision occurred is often traveled by bicyclists who are allowed to ride in the street with motorized vehicles. The road does not have a designated bicycle lane and therefore bicyclists are required to ride with other traffic, sharing the same lane and obeying the same traffic laws. The block of West Irving Park also has street parking in some areas which can make the lanes more narrow for both bicyclists and motorists as they travel.
This collision occurred at approximately 9:10 p.m. when darkness had set in the city. There is street lighting that lines much of the eastern side of the road but it is not as prevalent on the western side, meaning that the combination of the nighttime darkness and sparse use of artificial lighting should have put the driver on heightened alert to the presence of bicyclists. It does not appear that that was the case, unfortunately.
In 2011, there were 3,107 bicycle collisions in Illinois resulting in 2,912 injuries and 27 fatalities. Of those crashes, 469 occurred during darkness hours on roads with artificial illumination, meaning that this type of collision is all too common – more than one a day, every day, for the entire year.
The elderly are less likely to be involved in bicycle accidents because there are fewer elderly riders than there are younger riders. However when older individuals are struck while riding a bike, the injuries are often severe or fatal due to the vulnerable nature of the cyclist.
Bicyclists have the right to ride in Chicago without being hurt by the negligence of other drivers. If you have been injured while riding a bike, you may have a legal claim against the person who caused your injuries, including your medical bills, lost wages, and any other damages like the destruction of your bicycle. If you have been hurt by the negligence of a driver, you should contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your rights.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we are hard working bicycle injury attorneys in Illinois and we fight for our clients’ rights every day. We know how to work with insurance companies and we will work hard to get you the recovery you deserve. If you have been hurt or if a loved one has been hurt or killed, call us today for a free consultation at (312) 924-7575 or toll free at (855) 529-2442 and let us work for you.
Prior Blog Entries:
Wrongful Death of Illinois Student Killed During Hazing, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published May 14, 2013.
High Misdiagnosis Rates Affect Illinois and the Nation, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published May 12, 2013.
Bicyclist, 83, struck and killed by car on Northwest Side, by Adam Sege, Chicago Tribune, published May 15, 2013.
2011 Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics, Illinois Department of Transportation, published 2012.