LaHood Applauds Improvements, Highlights Risks of Bicycle Accidents in Urban Areas, including Chicago

Whether he’s “hip” may be open for debate but the nation’s leading safety advocate leaves no room for debate about the high risk of Chicago bicycle accidents and cycling crashes in other urban areas this summer, according to the Huffington Post.

Each spring, our Chicago bicycle accident attorneys see an increase in the number of serious and fatal bicycle and pedestrian accidents throughout Illinois. But large urban centers, particularly Chicago, see the majority of such crashes.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 20 fatal Illinois bicycle accidents were reported in 2009. The Illinois Department of Transportation reports 5 fatal bicycle accidents were reported in Chicago and nearly 1,400 riders were injured.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, an Illinois Republican, is looking at ways to induce drivers to do a better job of sharing the road with cyclists. LaHood praised the efforts of various cities to expand cycling infrastructure and improve laws and other transportation policies. He cited the construction of bike lanes as being particularly effective.

Still he expressed concern over the way bikers are treated on the street and acknowledged that much more needs to be done as the number of cyclists, and cycling accidents, continues to increase.

“I’m concerned that people that are driving cars have a level of respect for bikers, and that’s the reason that we have these bike lanes,” said LaHood. “Bikers have as much right to the streets as anybody driving a car and I am concerned about [their safety].”

When told by the interviewer that he sounded like a “run-of-the-mill hipster,” LaHood responded that he did not even know what that means.

But many city officials are echoing the emphasis in cycling safety. Incoming Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is promising to create a “world-class bike network.” And in New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration continues to expand bike lanes despite some protests from the motoring public. The city has seen a 50 percent increase in cycling commuters during the past four years.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

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