New Year’s Resolutions: Reducing Risks of Bicycling Accidents in Chicago

We’ve recently been discussing the importance of safe driving habits. As we say goodbye to 2011, its time to say hello to 2012. Our Chicago accident attorneys have been asking residents to make safe driving habits a part of their New Year’s resolutions. We’ve discussed distracted driving dangers, drunk driving dangers, the dangers of speeding, the dangers faced by pedestrians and now we’ll be discussing the importance of bicycle safety awareness. We’re not the only ones focusing on bicyclists’ safety either. The Chicago Bike Program is promoting its Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 as we start the new year. This plan is to identify up to 250 miles of bicycle facilities that will encourage all Chicagoans to ride their bicycles to get around our beautiful city.The Chicago Bike Program has divided the city into nine areas and will be looking over each of these areas to examine the current biking conditions of each. Through this examination, biking officials will be identifying destinations, barriers, gaps in existing bikeways and assets. Officials are asking for your input too. If you would like to contribute any ideas or suggestions on how to make these areas safer for cyclists, please email the organization.

Unfortunately, bicycling accidents in Chicago are still an all too common occurrence. According to My Fox Chicago, there were five bicyclists killed and nearly 2,000 bicyclists injured in 2008. The number of fatal accidents is an increase from the previous year, serving as evidence of much-needed bicycling path renovations.

To help make our roadways safer for bicyclists, transportation officials have constructed the Kinzie Street protected bike lane and are working on the Jackson Boulevard protected bike lane, the 18th Street protected bike lane and the Elston Avenue protected bike lane. Even with the construction of safer bike lanes, bicyclists are asked to practice the following safety tips to help ensure a smooth and accident-free bike ride.

Safety Tips for Chicago Bicyclists, from Safety In Motion:

-It’s against the law to ride a bicycle on Lake Shore Drive.

-It’s against the law to ride the wrong way on a one-way street, against traffic on a two-way street and on expressways.

-If you break a traffic law, an officer can stop you and can issue you a traffic ticket. Most bicycling traffic tickets come with a $25 fine.

-Although drivers of vehicles are required by law to give bicyclists the right-of-way it doesn’t always mean that they will. Be on the lookout for passing vehicles at all times.

We ask all bicyclists and motorists to be cautious of one another when traveling through the city. With consideration for one another, we can help to make our roadways safer for everyone. Make your New Year’s resolution to be a better traveler in 2012!

If you or someone in your family has been injured in a bicycling accident, contact the Chicago personal 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.

More Blog Entries:

Chicago bike accident lawyer files Cook County lawsuit on behalf of injured teen, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, August 27, 2011

Illinois Department of Transportation Welcomes Bicyclists for Safe Summer Fun, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, July 20, 2011

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