There is no denying it – when compared to similar cities across the country, Chicago is considered a bicycle friendly town. Recent years have seen numerous innovations aimed at improving the safety of riding along the streets while simultaneously improving traffic flow and alleviating congestion. Many of these changes can be seen in the Loop and in the more popular surrounding neighborhoods but gems for bicyclists can be found in countless parts of the city.
Riding for pleasure is not the only type of ridership that has increased recently, though. According to the League of American Bicyclists, commuting by bicycle has increased 389 percent in Chicago between 1990 and 2013. Projections indicate that more commuters took to their bikes in 2014 as well and that this number is anticipated to keep growing.
Chicago is far from the only city with a growing ridership base that includes commuters. During the 1990-2013 time period, estimates indicate that commuting by bicycle increased 31 percent in non-bike friendly cities and 105 percent in bike friendly towns. On average, bicycle commuting increased 62 percent across the country.
Why such a significant increase, and what concerns should it pose for those who call Chicago home? Bicycling officials believe that numerous factors have led to a greater number of riders on the streets of American cities and that some of them include higher fuel costs, difficulty parking automobiles, desire for exercise, an environmental concern about carbon footprints, and the increased practicality of biking in communities that have bike-friendly areas. In Chicago, an increase in the number of cyclists can translate to a decrease in the number of cars that drive on the roads and therefore a decrease in traffic congestion. Though the difference in vehicular traffic has been minor to this point, it is believed that the impact could grow significantly if more motorists convert to cyclists as current data predicts.
Unfortunately, with the increase in bicycling commuters has come an increase in the number of bicycle accidents that happen in Chicago and in the surrounding suburbs. Many of these crashes involve an automobile and most cause injuries to the cyclists involved.
There are laws that protect the rights of injured bicyclists in Illinois including those who become the victims of traffic accidents but these rights must be acted upon to be protected. A victim who wants to obtain financial compensation for her medical bills, injuries, pain and suffering, and lost wages can do so by bringing a civil claim for damages provided the claim is brought within the time period specified by law and in accordance to all local and state rules. When in doubt, speaking with a personal injury attorney can help you realize whether you have a valid claim and, if so, who is legally liable for your damages.
The legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. prides itself on its reputation as skilled bicycle accident lawyers in Chicago and we have helped countless victims of bike collisions recover after they have been injured. If you have been victimized in a crash, we want to help you as well and we are standing by 24 hours a day to make that possible.
We offer a free case consultation without obligation to all those who contact us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (12) 924-7575 and we will keep all information discussed confidential.
If you have sustained injuries or if your loved one was hurt or killed, make sure your rights are not ignored. Call Abels & Annes, P.C. now and let us fight for the compensation you deserve.
Prior Blog Entry:
Car Crash on I-57 Injures 5, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published May 27, 2015.