Officials to promote safe cycling in effort to reduce Chicago bicycle accidents

If it has two wheels, watch out for it in May.

As state and federal officials gear up to promote May as Motorcycle Awareness Month, city officials are reminding motorists it is also National Bike Month and are urging motorists to do their part in reducing Chicago bike accidents.

Last month, we reported on Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog that the city has been named one of the nation’s best for cycling. But Illinois bicycle accidents killed 27 riders in 2008 and seriously injured 3,385. offers a number or rider safety tips to help cyclists enjoy the spring and summer riding season as safely as possible.On May 1, KMart stores in the Chicago area will be working in conjunction with Mayor Daley’s Safe Routes Ambassadors program to educate parents and children about safe riding skills. Each store will also be holding a sweepstakes for a chance to win a children’s bike.

Click here for more information and a list of participating stores.

Summer is prime riding season for kids. The Chicago Department of Transportation offers an online safety booklet for parents and children.

Safety tips for children include:

-Slow down and say “excuse me” or ring a bell or horn to avoid scaring or colliding with people you approach from behind while riding a bike.

-Ride one in front of the other when riding with friends.

-Take special care when approaching alleys and driveways. Look left, right, left. Slow down and stop if you can’t see whether anything is coming. Look left first and last because that is the direction of oncoming traffic.

-Make sure a driver sees you before proceeding into the path of a vehicle.

-Never cross a street in the middle of the block.

-Before entering the street, stop at the curb and make sure parked cars are not about to move. Look left, right, left for oncoming traffic and make eye contact with any drivers before proceeding.

-Always ride in the same direction cars are traveling.

-Ride three feet from parked cars to avoid being hit by an opening car door.

-Never ride against traffic; it’s the easiest way to get hit.

-Don’t ride in the street unless a parent has determined it is ok.

-Ride in a straight line, don’t zig-zag or move in an out of traffic or parked cars.

-The safest way to cross a busy street is to get off a bike and push it across in a marked crosswalk.

-Keep an eye on what’s behind you.

-Watch for potholes, sewer grates or other road hazards.

Parents are encouraged to review the entire manual with their young riders as spring and summer riding season begins.

If your family is dealing with the injury of a child in a bicycle accident, pedestrian accident or other injury situation, contact the Chicago 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.

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