Illinois Bike Accidents: What to Do if You’ve Been Struck

Cycling is a popular mode of transport and recreation in Illinois, especially in cities. Just like any other means of transport, however, it comes with its own risks. Consequently, understanding bicycle safety and legal considerations is important for you to protect yourself on the road. 

In this article we’ll delve into statistics and Illinois bicycle accident laws that motorists and cyclists alike must know.

Brian Lewis and his law firm only represent cyclists, not the drivers of the cars and trucks who hit them. As such, The Lewis Law firm is skilled and uniquely positioned to get you the maximum value for your case. Learn more.

National Bicycle Accident Statistics

Recent statistics show an increase in the number of bicycle accidents. According to the NSC, the number of fatalities have increased over the last 10 years from 900 in 2012 to 1,230 in 2021. Naturally, bicycle accident numbers align with weather patterns, increasing in warmer months starting in July and usually remaining high throughout October. In 2021, most fatalities occurred in September (149) while January recorded far fewer deaths (60).

The main causes of accidents include collisions with vehicles. These accidents often result from speeding, drunk driving, or failure to yield. Poor road conditions, weather, and limited visibility also contribute to bicycle accidents each season.

Ensuring proper infrastructure, including signage and bike lanes, can reduce accidents. Educating both cyclists and motorists on traffic laws and road-sharing etiquette is also vital, particularly in cities. Everyone should be aware of the types and causes of accidents to take proactive measures in promoting safe cycling.

Health and Safety Implications of Bike Accidents

Bicycle accidents lead to different injuries, some of which result in long-term health implications. Common injuries include:

  • Sprains
  • Lacerations
  • Fractures
  • Abrasions
  • Head injuries
  • Spinal injuries

Head injuries are a serious concern and highlight the importance of wearing a helmet while cycling. Spinal injuries, including herniated discs or fractures can also occur. Spinal injuries often result in long-term disability, especially in severe cases. Cyclists may also experience soft tissue injuries such as strains or contusions, often in extremities.

The long-term implications of cycling accidents are quite substantial. For instance, post-traumatic injuries can result in memory issues, mood disorders, and cognitive impairment. These conditions may persist for years or even a lifetime. On the other hand, spinal injuries can lead to reduced mobility, chronic pain, and loss of function. These types of injuries require ongoing medical care and rehabilitation.

Bicycle accidents may also result in psychological effects such as cycling anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Psychological effects affect the victim’s quality of life even long after the accident.

These injuries underscore the significance of taking preventive cycling measures. These measures include adherence to traffic laws, wearing protective gear, and safe cycling practices. Timely medical intervention in case of an incident is also important to facilitate quick recovery and prevent long-term health implications.

Illinois Bicycle Accident Law and Safety

Cyclists in Illinois are subject to various laws designed to promote safe road usage. Cyclists must adhere to these laws to protect themselves and others on the road. These include yielding to pedestrians and obeying traffic signage. Cyclists are entitled to similar rights and responsibilities as motorists, including right of way in certain situations. Illinois also mandates that all cyclists under 16 years of age wear approved helmets.

Thankfully, Illinois aims to safeguard cyclists in the event of an accident by creating clear guidelines for liability and responsibility. For example, if a cyclist is struck by a vehicle while obeying traffic laws, they are entitled to compensation for damages. The Illinois comparative negligence system allows recovery even if the cyclist is partially at fault. Understanding these laws promotes safer cycling and ensures the cyclist receives appropriate legal protection.

Bicycle Accident Statistics in Illinois

In 2021, the Illinois Department of Transportation reported the following statistics in Illinois:

  • Of the ~295,000 motor vehicle crashes, pedal cyclists were involved in 1% of total crashes, 3% of fatal crashes, and 3.5% of injury crashes
  • 35 fatal bike crashes
  • 2,112 injuries while on a bike, involved in a motor accident
  • 1,373 crashes reported in urban environments, while 762 were reported in rural areas
  • Of the 35 cyclist fatalities,  11 were tested for BAC and 18.2% had a positive BAC of 0.01 or greater

These statistics underscore the reasons why cyclists should follow traffic guidelines to ensure their safety.

According to the data, high-risk areas in Illinois include urban areas with heavy traffic. These areas tend to have more cyclists who are susceptible to collisions with vehicles. Intersections and areas lacking proper bike lanes in urban areas are dangerous for cyclists.

Demographically, young and older adults are disproportionately involved in these accidents. These accidents also tend to increase in warmer months when cyclists are active on the road.

Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident: Call Brian Lewis

If you get involved in a cycling accident, prioritize safety by moving to a safe location and checking for injuries. Immediately call emergency services and check insurance information with the others involved. Document the scene by gathering witness statements and taking photos.

You also need to seek medical attention to check for minor injuries. Ensure that you keep thorough records of medical treatment in order to build a personal injury case, if you decide to go that route. Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney like Brian Lewis to navigate the legal process seamlessly. With over 20 years of experience helping people like yourself find justice and get on the road to recovery, Brian Lewis is an invaluable asset to have on your team. If you or a loved one have been struck by a vehicle while riding a bike, learn how you may be entitled to significant compensation by scheduling a free consultation today.

Contact Us Today

Recent Posts: