Chicago has a reputation of being one of the best biking cities in America. With its designated bike lanes, over 200 miles of on- street, buffered and shared lanes, why would there be any major accidents?
Surprisingly, there are more bike injuries than we may realize. According to the City of Chicago, between 2005 and 2010, over 9,000 bicyclists were injured during their ride. Most incidents were shown to occur at intersections and in the evening hours. Here we are spending so much money on new and improved bike lanes and yet we can't seem to help out our fellow bikers.
There is a plan for the city to install 180 miles of new lanes. However, it will take them several years. Bike advocates are urging the Rahm administration and the city to try and build the 100 out of 180 miles by the year 2020. As of now, the city is planning to build 50 miles by 2019.
The cities plan will put into place bike lanes that will have a protective barrier between vehicles and cyclists. Many agree, that the standard bike lanes that are in use as of now, are not efficient enough at preventing accidents and injuries.
So how can you protect yourself while you are out on the road, dodging the many obstacles cyclists face?
Always wear your helmet. It may seem like something we all should have been taught when we were six, first learning how to ride a bike, but many forget or just don't think that they need one.
Don't forget to obey traffic laws. Just because you are on a bike, doesn't mean that you have the right of way in every circumstance. Also, many cars will not always be looking out for you. Be on guard and remember to bike defensively.
If you are involved in a bike crash or experience an injury due to the road, contact an experienced attorney at the Deratany Firm to advise you of your legal rights. In many cases, cyclists are not at fault and can obtain legal representation to help pay for medical bills and damages.