As a large metropolitan city, Chicago not only sees a significant amount of motor vehicle traffic, but also a great deal of pedestrian and bicycle traffic as well. In fact, walking and bicycling are the preferred modes of transportation for many people who live or work in Chicago.
Because pedestrians and bicyclists share the road in a way with motorists, they are also susceptible to accidents. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are treated in emergency departments, and more than 700 people die, each year as a result of bicycle accident injuries. The CDC also says that, on average, 324 people require medical treatment each day for injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident. In Illinois alone, more than 5,200 pedestrians were injured, and more than 100 pedestrians were killed, by motor vehicle drivers in 2009, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Safety tips for Bicyclists
Bicyclists should remember the following safety tips when biking:
- Ride with the flow of traffic, not against it.
- Wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet.
- Wear brightly colored clothing during the day.
- Use a front light and rear reflector at night.
- Take care to obey rules of the road and traffic signs – especially at intersections, where bicyclists are most at risk.
Safety tips for Pedestrians
The CDC offers the following suggestions to help prevent pedestrian accidents:
- Cross the street at a designated crosswalk.
- Be careful at intersections where drivers may fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians while turning onto another street.
- Increase your visibility at night by carrying a flashlight and wearing retro-reflective clothing.
- It’s safest to walk on a sidewalk, but if you must walk in the street, walk facing traffic.
In addition, pedestrians should avoid texting while walking. According to USA Today, a recent study conducted by researchers connected to Ohio State University shows that pedestrian cell phone-related injuries have more than doubled since 2005. The study found that in 2010, 1,500 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments for cell-phone related injuries, compared to only 559 in 2004.
Contact an Accident or Injury Lawyer
The accident and injury lawyers at Cogan & Power, P.C. are dedicated to helping Chicago pedestrians and bicyclists stay safe while on area roadways, and to helping accident and injury victims obtain maximum financial recovery. Because we focus on Chicago traffic accidents, including auto accidents, trucking accidents, bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents, we are well versed in the legal and factual complexities surrounding these types of personal injury claims. We have a proven track record of success and numerous substantial verdicts and settlements on behalf of victims of vehicle accidents.
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident or a bicycle accident, contact our office today at (312) 477-2500 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago accident and injury lawyers.