Some of the most avid bicyclists in Chicago choose to ride their bicycles to and from work in the city, making their commutes both transportation and exercise. It may be surprising to some non-bike riders in the city but a number of these commuters ride year round, even through the cold and snow that has been winter so far this year. Several of these individuals stopped at Daley Plaza yesterday in downtown Chicago to participate in a Winter Bike to Work Day sponsored by Active Transportation Alliance.
The event drew attention to winter bicycle commuting and also offered free hot chocolate and snacks to those who participated. Active Transportation Alliance’s goal is to promote safe bicycling in the city as well as walking and public transportation and they hoped that public events like yesterday’s will increase awareness of commuter’s options when it comes to traveling.
Bicycling is not for everyone but the rights of bicyclists do have an effect on everyone who uses the streets as transportation. The laws in Chicago make it legal for bicyclists to ride in the streets and provide these riders with all the same rights and responsibilities of other motorists, including the right to occupy a lane of transit. In some heavily biked areas, there are designated lanes for bicyclists or even protected lanes to separate bike traffic from automotive traffic.
Bicyclists and motorists should be able to share the roads safely but unfortunately, every year there are collisions between the two groups. Though they are less common than crashes between two or more cars, the results of a bicycle versus automobile collision are often devastating. In 2012, accidents involving bicycles accounted for only 1.3 percent of all roadway accidents with 3,423 collisions. But nearly all of these accidents involved harm to the rider. Of all the bicycle accidents, 3,209 caused injuries and 28 people involved were killed as a result of these collisions.
When an accident involving a bicyclist is caused by the negligence of another, the laws allow the victim or victims of that crash to seek proper compensation against the individual responsible for the accident. Often, these claims seek payment to cover medical bills, lost wages, and even pain and suffering experienced as a result of the crash.
Speaking with an injury attorney after an accident is the best way to learn about your legal rights and whether you may be entitled to relief. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we have experience representing cyclists who have been injured through the wrongdoing of others and we offer all those bicyclists who have been hurt in accidents a free consultation. We are standing by 24 hours a day to take your call at (312) 924-7575 or toll free at (855) 529-2442 and there is no obligation on your part for speaking with us. Make sure your rights are protected by calling us after an accident.
Prior Blog Entry:
13-Year-Old Boy Struck by Hit-and-Run Driver in Chicago, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published January 21, 2014.
Old Man Winter Can’t Keep Cyclists Off The Streets, CBS Chicago, published January 21, 2014.