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Rash of Chicagoland Bike Accidents Highlights Dangers

While Chicago tries to present itself as a bicycle friendly city, an epidemic of bicycle accidents has presented a dark, dangerous and deadly shadow upon those efforts. Six deaths this year and numerous other accidents have made this a record year in regards to fatalities and injuries. It is reasonable to assume that the uptick in bicycle accidents may be influenced in part by the flood of new bicycles into the area, but many of the accidents reported in recent history are symptoms of far more serious concerns. 

A List of Incidents Both Long and Alarming

Chicago, BikeSeptember has been a horrible month for Chicago area bicyclists, with the number of fatalities occurring in the month equaling the total for all of last year. The accidents involving bicyclists include the following incidents.

  • A sixty year old man was killed in Franklin Park after a motorcyclist hit him from behind. The motorcyclist alleged that the accident was the bicyclist’s fault for entering traffic. Due to the victim’s death, no statement could be recorded disputing those claims.

  • While leaving Plainfield North High School, a 14 year old student was hit by an SUV while riding her bike. Her injuries were serious, but not fatal, and she was transported to Loyola Medical Center in Maywood via airlift.

  • A Northwestern student was killed about a concrete truck when leaving the university parking lot on her bike. It represented the third time that a bicyclist was killed in this manner in Chicago since June. Officers called the incident tragic, but believed that the bicyclist was responsible for the accident that claimed her life. The incident has raised the question of whether laws should be passed requiring trucks to have side panels like the ones installed in the UK to prevent these types of deaths.

  • A woman riding her bike near Roosevelt Road was struck by a semi-truck before being thrown from her bike and suffering serious injuries. She was admitted to Stroger Hospital in critical condition.

  • A Naperville woman was riding her bike in Chicago where she was involved in an accident with a truck driver which resulted in the loss of her foot. The truck driver entered the intersection without signaling and she believed that he intended to go straight. In addition to needing to have her foot amputated, she suffered a broken pelvis and injury to her elbow.

  • A woman was hit by a flatbed in Roscoe Village on the North Side of Chicago during rush hour. The truck was turning right when it struck her and threw her from the bike. She died of her injuries.

  • A bicyclist was killed in a hit and run accident on the West Side of Chicago when a white cargo van struck him and the driver proceeded to leave the scene of the accident.

  • A Divvy bike rider was killed near the intersection of Sacramento and Belmont Avenue. She too was struck by a flatbed truck and her incident has gone down in history as the first time any bicyclist in the United States was killed while using a bike provided by a bicycle sharing company.

  • A bike messenger was hit by a double decker bus on the Gold Coast. The incident occurred at Oak Street and Michigan Avenue.

The recent rash of bicycle accidents in Chicago is both appalling and inexcusable. Bicyclists are often treated with disdain by motorists who view them as nuisances and their reckless actions have profoundly devastating consequences for the very bicyclists the city is trying to attract. 

Copyright © 2022, Rosenfeld Injury LawyersNational Law Review, Volume VI, Number 333

About this Author

Jonathan Rosenfeld, Personal Injury Lawyer, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers

I’m an Illinois lawyer with a nationwide practice who represents members of our society who have been seriously injured or killed due to the irresponsible acts of an individual or company. The injured have the same rights as everyone else — to be treated with compassion and respect— but their vulnerability means they need special protection and representation against those who injure, neglect or abuse them. This is my life’s work.

I recognize that an injured person has one opportunity to get the compensation that the law allows. I am fully dedicated and mindful of this...