April 13, 2011

Illinois Bicycle Accidents: Safety Advocates Want State to Track the Number of ‘Dooring’ Accidents

Although the state has taken action to improve bicycle safety with new laws, the Active Transportation Alliance wants transportation officials to keep count of ‘dooring’ accidents. The safety advocates group says this type of crash is the most common type of Illinois bicycle accident. However, because these traffic incidents don’t involve moving vehicles, the Illinois Department of Transportation says that it doesn’t track them and is denying the safety advocates' request.

Getting “doored” involves a moving bicyclist getting hit by a car door that suddenly opens. Usually the car is one that is parked and the door that opens is the one on the driver’s side.

Dooring accidents can cause serious injuries. One rider, 22-year-old Clinton Micelli, died in a Chicago bicycle accident in 2008 after he was struck by an SUV door whose driver opened it while on North LaSalle Street. Micelli fell off his bike and was run over by another vehicle.

Considering that, per Illinois Department of Transportation statistics, about 3,500 Illinois bicycle crashes happen a year, causing over 3,300 injuries and at least 18 fatalities, it is important that safety officials do their part to help decrease the number of cycling collisions.

Bicyclists are so vulnerable to serious injuries and death during a Chicago car crash. Not only can some injuries be debilitating, disabling, and life-altering, but also, the costs of medical care and recovery can be very high.

Unfortunately, some people don’t even realize that they may be entitled to personal injury compensation or that they do have just cause to file a claim. Don’t jump to conclusions. Contact our Chicago car accident law firm and ask for your free case evaluation.

Bikers call for state to count 'dooring' accidents, Chicago Tribune, March 20, 2011

Why do Drivers Hate Cyclists, ChicagoMag, March 22, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Active Transportation Alliance

Illinois Department of Transportation

More Blog Posts:
Chicago Bicycle Accident Leaves Rider with Critical Injuries, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, September 30, 2010

Dolton Car Accident Kills Teen and Now Parents are Suing Village and Cook County for Fatal Police Pursuit, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, August 19, 2010

Preventing Illinois Bicycle Accidents: Governor Pat Quinn Signs New Safety Bills in Chicago, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, July 5, 2010

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September 30, 2010

Chicago Bicycle Accident Leaves Rider with Critical Injuries

A bicyclist was injured on Tuesday night when he was involved in a Chicago car accident in the Hamilton Park neighborhood. The rider was taken to an Oak Lawn hospital. Police are investigating the Chicago traffic crash.

Meantime, students are mourning the loss of a 10-year-old boy injured in another Illinois bicycle accident. Bryan Baker died from injuries he sustained when he was hit by a pickup truck on Wednesday night. Baker was a fifth-grader at Washington Elementary School in Pontiac.

The bicycle accident took place on Illinois 116. The cause of the collision is under investigation.

Baker’s death comes less than two weeks after a 55-year-old Gibson City Woman was also killed in an Illinois bicycle accident in Ford County. Jeanne C. DeWall, who was hit by a 2005 Buick LeSabre, was pronounced dead at the crash site. The driver of the car, 73-year-old Paxton resident Robert W. Watson, says he did not see Baker and could not avoid striking DeWall, who was delivering newspapers for the News-Gazette at the time. No tickets have been issued.

Chicago Bicycle Accidents
If you or someone you love was injured in a Chicago bicycle accident, an experienced Chicago injury law firm can help you determine whether you have grounds for a case. While a bicyclist can be at fault for causing the traffic crash, there have been many accidents that could have been avoided if only the vehicle driver or another party hadn’t been negligent.

Ways That Drivers Can Avoid Causing Bicycle Accidents:
• Watch out for bicyclists
• Don’t speed
• Adjust your driving to the road and weather conditions
• Don’t talk on the cell phone or text while driving
• Be extra careful when driving in areas where there are schools
• Don’t drive drunk
• Obey traffic signs and traffic laws
• Pay attention when driving

Bicyclist critical after Hamilton Park car crash, ABC Local, September 29, 2010

Students mourn loss of 10-year-old Pontiac boy, Pantagraph.com, September 30, 2010

Victim in fatal collision identified, News-Gazette, September 20, 2010

Related Web Resources:

Safe Bicycling in Illinois (PDF)

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September 16, 2010

NHTSA Reports 911 Illinois Traffic Fatalities in 2009

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Highlights of 2009 Motor Vehicle Crashes Research Note is out, and our Chicago car accident lawyers are happy to report that the number of Illinois traffic deaths dropped last year. While there were 1,043 Illinois motor vehicle fatalities in 2008, 911 Illinois traffic deaths occured in 2009. 319 of those fatalities were alcohol-related.

The decline in highway deaths was also reflected nationally. There were 33,808 US motor vehicle traffic crash deaths last year—the lowest number of fatalities in 60 years. Consider that there were 37,423 traffic deaths in 2008. That’s a 9.7% drop. Even the number of US motorcyclist fatalities, which has been going up for the last 11 years, finally saw a decline. There were 4,462 motorcycle crash deaths last year, down from 5,312 fatalities in 2008.

While any decline in traffic deaths is always progress made in saving lives, there are always more lives that can and should be saved. There also continue to be thousands nationally and hundreds throughout the state that must contend with catastrophic injuries, costly medical expenses, the loss of a loved one, and other damages. Our Chicago car crash law firm would be happy to evaluate whether you have a case for Cook County personal injury or wrongful death.

More 2009 Motor Vehicle Crash Facts:
• 503 large truck fatalities
• 4,092 pedestrian deaths
• 630 pedalcyclist fatalities
• 2,217,000 traffic accident injuries
• 10,839 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities

Highlights of 2009 Motor Vehicle Crashes, NHTSA (PDF)

U.S. Traffic Deaths at Lowest Level Since 1950, NHTSA, September 9, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Department of Transportation

CyberDrive Illinois

August 19, 2010

Dolton Car Accident Kills Teen and Now Parents are Suing Village and Cook County for Fatal Police Pursuit

Selean Turner Brack and Kenyatta Brack Sr. are seeking at least $50,000 in Illinois wrongful death recovery from Cook County and the Village of Dolton. Their son, 16-year-old Kenyatta Brack Jr. was killed on Sunday in a Dolton bicycle accident when he a speeding motorist that was fleeing from police hit him. The driver was going at speeds of about 70 mph at the time. He did not stop at the crash site.

According to the Brack’s Cook County wrongful death lawsuit, police violated police practices when they took part in a high-speed police chase even though no violent crime had been committed, the vehicle pursuit was taking place in a suburban residential area, and office superiors had not been notified.

The officers involved in the police pursuit claim that they never drove faster than 35 mph while following the suspect and were two blocks away when the Dolton car crash fatally injured the teenaged victim. A friend who was cycling with Kenyatta, however, claims that the police cars were driving fast and following closely behind the other vehicle.

The Brack family is calling for the hit-and-run driver to come forward.

Cook County Car Accidents
There may be more than one party who should be held liable for your Cook County car crash injuries. We know how devastating it is to lose someone you love because other people were reckless or careless or negligent. Taking care of legal issues is not something you likely want to be thinking about so soon after your loss. However, the sooner your explore your legal options, the better you will increase the chances of getting the maximum Chicago car accident compensation from the responsible parties.

Father of Dolton teen killed in hit-and-run questions police account, Chicago Tribune, August 16, 2010

Lawsuit: Cops triggered hit-run crash that killed teen in Dolton, Sun-Times, August 17, 2010

Related Web Resources:
The Village of Dolton

Chases by police yield high fatalities, USA Today, April 23, 2010

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July 5, 2010

Preventing Illinois Bicycle Accidents: Governor Pat Quinn Signs New Safety Bills in Chicago

In Arlington Heights today, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the state’s new bicycle safety legislation, turning them into law. One bill imposes new penalties on reckless drivers and those that drive too close to cyclists. The other creates “Share the Road” license plates that will be sold so that funds can go toward education campaigns. Quinn says the new laws will remind motorists to watch out for bicyclists while hopefully keeping the latter safe.

Our Chicago, Illinois car accident lawyers applaud any efforts made to keep bicyclists safe. Earlier this month, the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles formally adopted a number of edits to their design polices that will hopefully make it easier and safer for bicyclists and pedestrians to get around.

For far too long, too many arterial roads have lacked sidewalks, many large intersections were not designed in a way that made crossing the street safe or easy, and merely an extra 12-inchse of extra width in travel lanes on high-speed, busy roads, was considered sufficient room for bicyclists to ride safely. While Illinois bicycle accidents can occur because of rider mistakes or carelessness, many Chicago bicycle accidents happen because roads are poorly designed accommodate cyclists or because a driver was negligent.

Bicycle accidents can result in serious Chicago personal injuries for victims who only have a helmet to protect from serious injuries. Our Chicago car accident law firm represents clients injured in all kinds of motor vehicle crashes. We are committed to obtaining our clients’ Chicago injury compensation for them.

Quinn signs bicycle safety legislation, Daily Herald, July 5, 2010

IDOT Complete Streets – History and Status, League of Illinois Bicyclists

Related Web Resources:
Bicyclists and other cyclists, Traffic Safety, NHTSA (PDF)

Illinois Department of Transportation

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