Though Chicago was recently named Best Bike City in the United States by Bicycling Magazine, which cited its protected bike lanes and bike-sharing service, it also has a development on the rise that is especially unfriendly to bicyclists: Dooring accidents. According to a recently released report by the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 302 cases of dooring, in which a bicyclist crashes into an open car door, in Chicago in 2015, up nearly 50 percent from the 203 cases reported in 2014.
Crashes involving bicycles were also up, with 1,720 in 2015 compared to 1,634 the previous year.
This increase in bicycling accidents may correspond to the rise in popularity in bicycling in Chicago as a whole. According to census figures, the percentage of Chicagoans riding their bicycles to work has risen from 0.7 percent in 2005 to 1.8 percent in 2015. And with the increase in bicycling activity has come the increase in bicycle-related injuries.
To counteract this dangerous trend, Chicago has launched its Vision Zero plan to promote education and enforcement to increase bicycle safety. As part of the plan, the city has recently distributed flyers to taxi and ride-hailing companies offering information on bicycle and pedestrian laws and tips for motorists on how to avoid crashes with bicyclists. Some of the safety tips include opening driver’s-side doors with the right hand to force the driver to turn and look for oncoming bicycles, avoiding parking and driving in bike lanes, and bicyclists passing vehicles at a distance of at least three feet.
GWC prosecutes a wide variety of injury cases throughout Illinois, including those involving bicycle accidents, auto accidents, workers’ compensation, construction accidents, and medical malpractice. If you or your loved one has been injured, because of a bicycle accident or some other means, please contact our office for a free legal consultation to see if you may be eligible for financial compensation for your injuries.
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