The incident rate of bicycle accidents is high in Chicago and surrounding communities, because many citywide commuters choose cycling as an efficient and affordable mode of transportation. This resource site can help answer many questions of what safety steps to take to avoid being involved in a minor or major bicycle accident, and what to do if injured in a cycling collision.
The metropolitan area of Chicago is a crowded area, and filled with commercial trucks, passenger cars, motorcycles, pedestrians and bicyclists. Every day, thousands of individuals ride their bicycle for easy transport around the city when going to work or school. Unfortunately, many cyclists have suffered serious injuries when involved in a bicycle accident and some have died. Below is a list of organizations that can assist readers dealing with safe bicycling along with the legal and medical ramifications of cyclist injuries and fatalities in Illinois.
Bicycle Safety Groups and Statistics
Share the Road Campaign – In 2007, the Illinois state police, League of Illinois Bicyclists and the Illinois Department of Transportation launched their Share the Road Campaign, urging bicyclists and drivers to share the streets in an effort to reduce collisions while preventing injuries and fatalities on Illinois roadways.
The SF Bicycle Coalition – This site offers a detailed crash checklist of every step to take when involved in a bicycle collision starting immediately after the crash, once law enforcement arrives, and in the days following the collision. The information is essential to ensure you receive proper medical care and collect all pertinent information relevant to the crash. This evidence might be a necessary component for obtaining financial compensation in any future legal issue.
Kids on Bikes in Illinois – The state of Illinois offers a downloadable PDF file containing effective steps to keep children safe when riding bicycles. The site provides valuable information for parents, teachers and children handling their bikes in a variety of precarious scenarios. This includes where to ride, how to turn, what to avoid, and how to prevent accidents.
Illinois Department of Transportation – This website offers valuable information on how to maintain a safe bike along with proper basic equipment including helmets and carrying racks. The extensive overview on equipping and fitting your bike can help promote ideal safety when cycling through side roads and major streets all across the Chicago area. In addition, it has a detailed list of traffic basics of how to stay smart and confident when handling a bike. These traffic rules are ideal for any cyclists hoping to prevent an accident.
Illinois State Police Safety Education Unit – This site offers access to a variety of programs presented by the Illinois State Police Safety Education Unit on bike safety. Qualified personnel, delivering valuable information to the classroom, social clubs and or civic groups, offer numerous safety programs statewide.
Illinois Rules of the Road – This website offers extensive information on the legal procedures for maintaining the rules of the road when cycling. The information includes parental responsibilities, bicycle safety equipment, proper turning signals, parking, right-of-way, and extensive safety tips.
City of Chicago Department Of Transportation – On this Chicago city site, you will have access to valuable bicycle crash analysis data and the city government’s extensive recommendations for safe bicycling throughout Chicago and surrounding communities. It is the belief of the mayor and other elected officials that the overwhelming majority of all crashes involving bicycles are preventable. As a result, they are establishing solid goals to enhance bicycle safety. The site also lists specific Chicago facts about how bicycling through the community has changed since 2000, with the number of two wheel commuters increasing by more than 150 percent.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – This extensive site offers valuable information on how to be properly fitted for a safety helmet, along with a bike-ability checklist to increase cycling safety. In addition, it provides an SRTS (Safe Routes to School) guide to increase child safety when bicycling on Chicago area roadways. The site also offers valuable information on the nationwide Bicycle Safer Journey to assist parents and educators in beginning a dialogue with children on how to stay safe when cycling.
Active Transportation Alliance – As an advocacy group for cyclists and pedestrians, the Active Transportation Alliance helps promote better cycling on safe bike routes throughout Chicagoland. Their site provides a variety of valuable information on major/minor bicyclist injuries throughout Illinois involving serious injury and fatalities. The advocacy group is interested in taking every step possible to save lives and limbs of Chicago area pedestrians and bicyclists by fixing citywide crash problems on major and minor roads throughout the community.
League of Illinois Bicyclists – This site teaches that no matter what your age there are many more things to learn about bicycling on Chicago Metropolitan area roadways. This includes becoming aware of common danger zones throughout the community including when motorists fail to yield or pass a cyclist too closely. The site provides instant access to a handy card listing all Illinois laws associated with bicycling. It also offers quick access to safety seminar information and handouts, along with a list of Illinois instructors teaching safety classes to children and adults in many communities throughout the state.
Other Relevant Site
Bicycling Blog – When involved in a serious or minor bicycle accident involving another vehicle or individual, it is essential to follow the best course of action legally and medically. This blogging site details all crucial aspects of what to do before riding, after the collision, and dealing with insurance companies and attorneys. This valuable information can help you make your case when disputing others involved in the collision, including law enforcement.
Unfortunately, drivers of passenger vehicles and commercial trucks do not always respect Illinois traffic laws, which provide bicyclists the identical rights to use the roadways as any other mode of legal transportation. Sometimes, other motorists simply fail in their ability to remain focused and pay attention to others in their surroundings, often putting pedestrians and cyclists in grave danger. As a result, bicyclists often suffer minor or catastrophic injuries due to other driver’s neglect.
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