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Is Illinois becoming more dangerous for bicyclists?

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury

Riding a bicycle in Illinois could be an enjoyable activity and one that provides an inexpensive way to commute. Dangers exist for bicyclists, though. Bikes don’t provide the same protection as a car, and any cyclist hit by a vehicle could suffer terrible injuries. Bicyclists may feel more concern now than before since these types of accidents are higher now than in previous years.

Illinois experiences an increase in bicycle accidents

Accidents involving bicyclists and motor vehicle operators happen in all 50 states. Sometimes, conditions exist that increase collision rates in a particular geographic area. 2020 statistics show Illinois is experiencing a five-year high in motor vehicle accident fatalities. Not every fatal accident involves a bicycle crash, but many do.

Whatever factors contributed to the 45% fatality increase in 2020 over 2019 do not appear to be going away. Data shows 2021 might experience an even higher number of fatalities. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s statistics for 2020 reveal 38,680 died in traffic accidents, with Illinois experiencing 1,195 deaths.

Several steps could potentially decrease the number of vehicle/bicycle accidents. Narrow streets, for example, create congestion between bicyclists and vehicles, along with any pedestrians in the area. Infrastructure upgrades that widen roads could help, as might making alterations to bicycle lanes. Unfortunately, improving infrastructure won’t affect negligent behavior.

Traffic accidents and negligence

Drivers might cause bicycle accidents due to reckless behavior. Speeding or making unsafe turns could lead to accidents that may otherwise be avoidable. Not looking when turning at an intersection and refusing to come to a complete stop at a red light may result in a crash with a bicyclist.

Bicyclists don’t necessarily have to collide with a motor vehicle to suffer a mishap. A distracted pedestrian could walk into a bicyclist, causing a fall. Also, bicyclists aren’t always the victims. Bicyclists might engage in negligent behavior that leads to an accident. A post-accident investigation may reveal who is at fault.

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