Pedestrians and bicycle riders use the same roadways used by cars and other motor vehicles. When pedestrians and bicycles come into conflict – that is, collisions – with motor vehicles, it is the unprotected bicycle rider or the “man on the street” who suffers the most.
Pedestrian and bicycle accidents that result in serious injury and death happen more often than you might think on Illinois and Chicago streets. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reports thousands of crashes every year involving pedestrians and “pedalcycles” (bicycles, tricycles, unicycles and big wheels). The vast majority result in injury, and too many end in the unwarranted death of a pedestrian or a cyclist.
In many cases, pedestrian and bicycle accidents involve a collision with a car because the car driver did not see the other person. But, if a bicycle rider or a pedestrian is injured because of a car driver’s negligence, the motorist may be held liable for the innocent victim’s injuries and other losses.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reports its findings about pedestrian and “pedalcycle” crashes in its “2011 Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics.”
Pedalcycles include bicycles, tricycles, unicycles and big wheels, IDOT says. A crash is “an occurrence which takes place on a public roadway, involves a moving motor vehicle and produces death, injury or (significant property) damage.”
The IDOT report says that in 2011 there were:
Across the country, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in reports published in 2012 about pedestrians and bicyclists that:
The NHTSA reminds us in its Traffic Safety Facts for pedestrians that, in most situations, drivers are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians who are crossing streets. Motorists should be especially careful at intersections where the failure to yield right of way often occurs when drivers are turning onto another street and a pedestrian is in their path, the NHTSA says.
In its Traffic Safety Facts for bicyclists and other cyclists, the NHTSA says “a helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash.” In the City of Chicago, where the city has built hundreds of miles of bike lanes for a thriving cycling population, a Chicago Department of Transportation brochure for cyclists says that most bicyclists get into crashes when they disobey traffic laws. This is because motorists do not know what the bike rider is going to do. “Being predictable is the key to safe bicycling on Chicago streets,” the safety brochure advises.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a pedestrian or bicycle accident involving a collision with a motor vehicle in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois, you may have a right to compensation for your injuries and losses. Protect your rights by contacting the Chicago pedestrian / bicycle accident attorneys of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case. Call us today at our toll-free number or use our online contact form. We represent pedestrians and cyclists who have been hurt in car accidents throughout Chicago and Illinois, including residents of Cook and Lake counties.