Cycling accidents are some of the most serious types of crashes on the road. When a cyclist comes face to face with a motor vehicle, the results are often grievous. In 2014 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported approximately 50,000 cyclist injuries.1
Therefore, given the severity and prevalence of such accidents, it’s critical to educate yourself about proper cycling safety. It’s also important to know your legal rights. In many cases, cyclists who have been involved in a cycling accident can sue for damages. So for those who face significant medical bills and lost income, that can mean the difference between financial ruin and the road to recovery.
Injuries sustained in cycling accidents can be particularly serious. The severity depends largely on the speed, place of impact and type of impact. Some of the most common cycling injuries include:
Although Chicago boasts some of the best bicycle accommodations among the nation’s large cities, cycling accidents remain a serious problem. With a 150 percent increase in the number of cyclists traversing the city streets since the beginning of the 21st century, bike safety has become more important than ever.
Unfortunately, bike accidents remain common in Chicago. In fact, they are becoming more frequent, at least as a percentage of total traffic crashes. According to the Chicago Department of Transportation, 32 cyclists died between 2005 and 2010 and nearly 9,000 sustained injuries. Even though the number of fatal crashes decreased by nearly a quarter in the same period, the number of injuries increased by roughly the same percentage.2
Both driver and cyclist error are responsible for most bike accidents. According to the Chicago Department of Transportation, the most common cyclist error was riding against traffic while the most common motorist error was a failure to yield.
Indeed, while cyclist error is responsible for at least some of the nation’s accidents, drivers bear a great responsibility. All too often, reckless, distracted or even aggressive drivers cause serious harm to cyclists.
Therefore, despite efforts to educate motorists, many still refuse to share the road. That means that even cyclists who follow all of the recommended safety precautions are at high risk of severe injury.
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