Bicycling on its own can be an inherently dangerous activity. However, the risk grows exponentially when a bicycle and motor vehicle traffic intersect, mostly thanks to the wide disparity of size and speed between the two vehicles.
However, unlike motor vehicle crashes, which increase the more motor vehicle crashes there are, the collective number of bicycle crashes declines the more bicyclists there are in a community. What’s more, cities that prioritize safer bicycling also have lower rates of overall crashes.
A series of recent pedestrian and cyclist deaths have refreshed community outrage over what they call a lack of protection for vulnerable road users.
Chicago bicycle injury lawyers have spent years advocating for safer communities for bicyclists that includes traffic infrastructure incorporating protected bicycle lanes. Just as sidewalks establish a safe mode of travel for pedestrians, protected bicycle lanes – those separated from motor vehicle traffic – are the ideal for safe cycling, especially in highly-congested urban areas.
The most recent pedestrian and cyclist fatalities in Chicago happened in early June. Victims include a 75-year-old civil rights advocate and two children under age 5 killed in separate incidents.
At a recent Leland Avenue rally for safe streets, advocates called for citywide infrastructure to prioritize all road users’ safety. Still, the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users primarily lies in the hands of motorists. You have recourse through the civil justice system if a negligent driver hits you. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can help you find your way forward.
Fatal Pedestrian Accidents & Deadly Bicycle Crashes
Nationwide, pedestrian deaths have risen over the past 10 years. This includes a spike in fatalities related to reckless driving behaviors developed over the pandemic. Between 2020 and 2021, pedestrian deaths increased by 13 percent, and cyclist deaths increased by 5 percent.
So far, there have been at least five pedestrian and cyclist deaths this year in Chicago, including the three that happened in June. According to the Chicago Tribune, recent accidents include:
- A pedestrian was hit by a car while crossing Irving Park Road in a crosswalk in the North Center neighborhood.
- A 2-year-old boy was killed crossing West Eastwood Avenue on a mini-scooter in the Lincoln Square neighborhood when a driver fatally struck him.
- A 3-year-old girl died after a semi-truck collided with a bicycle on West Leland Avenue in Uptown. The girl was a passenger on the bike at the time of the collision.
Chicago Crash Hotspots
Chicago has taken steps to reduce fatal accidents in recent years. The city has added, installed, or renovated bump-outs, pavement markings, striping changes, signage changes including additional “No Turn on Red” installments, traffic signal timing resets, increased crosswalk time, reduced speed limits, added more bicycle lanes, larger sidewalks, pedestrian refuge islands, bus bulbs, reconfigured travel and parking lanes, new medians, curb line changes, protected bike lanes through the Loop, and resurfaced damaged roads.
Still, crash hotspots remain in Chicago. A city plan to cut deadly and injury-causing crashes to zero lists Chicago’s most dangerous “high crash” corridors. These include:
- West Side
- Northwest Side
- Washington Park
Motorists Must Protect Pedestrians & Cyclists
It is the law in Chicago and all of Illinois that drivers must not only stop for pedestrians and cyclists in crosswalks, but they must come to a complete stop to allow for safe crossing. Motorists must also exercise “due care” to avoid hitting people – whether in a specific crosswalk or designated bicycle lane.
That means drivers who hit pedestrians and cyclists are negligent and must be held accountable for the pain and damage they cause.
Demand Maximum Compensation With Keating Law
When a negligent driver hits a cyclist or pedestrian, they must be held responsible. That’s what we do at Keating Law Offices, P.C.
Our pedestrian accident lawyers have a track record of success and have won significant settlements and verdicts for our clients. These include:
- $4.25 million for a wrongful death action involving a pedestrian.
- $1.25 million for a bicyclist killed on a training ride.
- $1 million for a bicyclist seriously injured by a negligent driver.
If you were hit by a car in Chicago, you can review your legal rights and options with our law firm. Contact Keating Law today at 833-CALL-KLO for a free consultation with an experienced Chicago pedestrian accident attorney.