Chicagoans likely saw an increase in bicycle traffic through the city this week in honor of the annual celebration of Chicago Bike Week. Designed as a way to promote cycling within the city limits, Bike Week events took place throughout the week in honor of cycling which increases in popularity every year. Whether biking to work, for exercise, or for pleasure, the number of bicyclists on the street continue to rise and with it, bicycle-related incidents with vehicles, pedestrians, and even other bikers. One of the more visible events will be a Bike to Work rally at Daley Plaza on Friday with hundreds of guests expected to attend.
All of this is in line with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s continued push to make Chicago a more bike-friendly city. He has pushed new programs and area development to add bicycle lanes, a city bike rental program, and even separate traffic signals for cyclists along some popular routes. Currently Chicago has 170 miles of designated bicycle lanes along the city’s streets but current plans have this increasing to 645 miles by 2020.
With an estimated 20,000 riders commuting to work by bicycle every day in Chicago, it is a good idea to increase awareness of the presence of bicyclists within the streets. In many collisions between bicycles and cars, drivers fail to see the biker in time to avoid a crash. With increased awareness placed on cycling comes an increased chance that drivers of cars will make a concerted effort to look for bicycles on the street. As these crashes can cause serious or even fatal injuries, it is important to the city to prevent as many as possible from occurring.
Nationally, Chicago has been one of the most dangerous big cities for bicyclists in terms of safety. There are a large number of bicycle accidents, injuries, and fatalities every year in Chicago even though safety features like designated bicycle lanes continue to be added. For bicyclists, safety is a main concern any time they ride but since cyclists can only control their own actions, some of their safety falls to the hands of the drivers on the road. To keep the streets as safe as possible, both bicyclists and drivers must always be aware of one another and treat each other with caution.
Bicyclists have all the same rights as drivers to occupy the roads but unfortunately that doesn’t mean that every driver respects that right. Some drivers are negligent in failing to see bicyclists while others are aggressive towards bicyclists, threatening the cyclist’s safety. If you have been injured while riding your bicycle, you may have a claim for your damages including your injuries and any damage done to your bike.
Call the Chicago bicycle accident injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today if you have been injured in a crash. We make ourselves available 24 hours a day and provide a free, no-obligation telephone consultation regarding your case. There is no risk to call us so if you have been hurt, please call us now at (312) 924-7575 or contact us online.
Prior Blog Entries:
Berwyn Man Killed in Work Accident, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published June 13, 2013.
Wrongful Death Civil Suit Settled against Driver High on Chemical Fumes, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published June 11, 2013.
Chicago Bike Week, ABC 7 News, published June 10, 2013.
Chicago opens new barrier protected bike lanes, Associated Press/ABC 7 News, published June 14, 2013.