As the pace of life continues to tick upwards in the Chicago area, residents and commuters of this city find themselves in a greater and greater rush. Some are convinced that they can squeeze an extra few minutes into their days by dropping their commuting times, often through the use of aggressive or reckless driving techniques. However, this strategy fails more often than not as motorists do not arrive at their destinations more quickly than they otherwise would and as this style of driving significantly increases the odds that a car accident or traffic collision will take place.
Bicyclists in this city face an unusually high risk of injury in the event they are involved in a crash regardless of whether it is a single bike crash, a crash between multiple bicyclists, or as is most often the case, a collisions between a car and a bicycle. There is nothing surrounding a rider to protect her body from the force of an impact with a vehicle, the ground, the bicycle, or another fixed object and therefore a cyclist is likely to sustain injuries in response.
In fact, in 2014 alone, there were 3,241 bicycle accidents in the State of Illinois. Of those, 27 collisions were fatal and 3,014 crashes caused injuries. Only 200 collisions resulted in only damage to a bicycle or to other property involved in the crash. Statistically, more than 93.8 percent of all bicycle crashes resulted in physical injuries or deaths in 2014 while less than 21 percent of automobile collisions had the safe effect.
Chicago Road Rage Bicycle Collisions
With bicyclists at such a high risk for injuries when collisions take place, all motorists and cyclists alike should exercise due caution for their safety whenever a rider is present. After all, the laws in Chicago and across the state protect the rights of these individuals to ride as a member of traffic and in accordance will all applicable rules of the road. Failing to act in a manner that is safe for cyclists may leave a motorist facing a traffic or even criminal charge for her conduct and can lead to punishments from the loss of a driver’s license to fines and fees and even incarceration.
However, incidents involving road rage and bicyclists are increasing as the years pass and are leading to extremely hazardous conditions for these riders – the opposite of what promotes safety for all.
Road rage is such a common emotion expressed towards bicycles that it has spurred a new name, “bike rage.” This rage can manifest itself on any type of driving surface where cyclists and motorists mix but is increasingly common in commercial districts, in the Loop, along the waterfront, on roads used heavily by commuters, and near public transit stops.
Typically, road rage is defined as violent anger that stems from traffic conditions, whether that is congestion, construction, or simply the habits of another motorist. In many states, road rage is seen as an escalation of aggressive driving tactics when those tactics lead to a physical assault.
Coping with Road Rage Incidents Involving Bicycles
When it comes to cyclists, road rage may affect those driving in a motor vehicle or those on another bicycle. Regardless, it is the duty of every traveler to keep her emotions in check and to prevent any frustration from increasing to a dangerous situation.
If you feel angry, do your best to calm yourself down. Take a few deep breaths and think about the task at hand: your goal should be to drive in a manner that keeps you and everyone else on the road safe. Put the frustrating incident into perspective by reminding yourself that as long as you are unhurt, you can continue moving about your day.
If another driver is exhibiting signs of road rage and is becoming a threat to your safety, do not engage. Instead, switch lanes, exit a roadway, or otherwise avoid the motorist entirely. If that is not possible, call the police and inform them of the situation so that they can handle it. Never try to settle a dispute with an enraged driver or motorist on your own as doing so may lead to a confrontation or even a violent assault.
Know Your Rights in Illinois
If you ride a bicycle, it is your right to have your riding space respected and to occupy a lane of traffic just as any other car does. If road rage from a driver threatens your rights and leads you to be injured, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your harm.
The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to take your call toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442) or locally at (312) 924-7575 to offer you a case consultation without obligation. If you have been hurt, call us now or contact us online for the answers you deserve.
If you were hurt in a road rage bicycle accident in Chicago, call Abels & Annes, P.C. now at (855) 529-2442 for a free case consultation.