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Fatal Bicycle Crash in Chicago's West Loop Raises Safety Concerns

Cyclists rides bicycle in a Chicago bike lane.

Cyclist Dies After Being Struck by Impaired Driver Along Madison Street

A fatal bicycle accident in Chicago's West Loop resulted in the death of a 42-year-old cyclist and put the spotlight once again on bicycle rider safety. Bicycle safety advocates say the section of Madison Street where the crash occurred is riskier for bike riders since the City of Chicago's Department of Transportation removed concrete median planters that divided eastbound and westbound traffic. The planters were removed to decrease traffic congestion, but some drivers have used the open roadway as an excuse to drive recklessly, and this behavior puts cyclists at risk.

According to the Chicago Police Department, the fatal crash occurred around 10:10 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, 2022, when an oncoming driver swerved to avoid a metal plate in the road and struck the cyclist who was riding in the opposite direction. Police say the at-fault driver continued to drive with the victim's bicycle stuck under her car before bystanders stopped her at Aberdeen and Monroe Streets.

NBC Chicago reported the cyclist was hospitalized in critical condition and died a few days later at Stroger Hospital. The driver was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, operating an uninsured vehicle, and striking a pedestrian in a roadway. Officers say they discovered empty bags of heroin in the at-fault driver's car.

Bicycle Accidents in the West Loop

In the streets of Chicago, at least one other cyclist and four pedestrians were killed in accidents this year, and this tragic trend is deeply concerning to bicyclists. As the West Loop neighborhood has expanded it has brought in more traffic, and this increases the likelihood of collisions.

According to NBC Chicago, earlier this year a driver fatally struck a bicyclist on DuSable Lake Shore Drive near Buckingham Fountain. Last October, another cyclist died after being hit by a car while crossing DuSable Lake Shore Drive at Grand Avenue.

Armando Chacon, the president of a neighborhood group called The West Loop Central Association, wants the city to take necessary action that will make the neighborhood safer. The association was responsible for having the city install stop signs and stop lights along Madison Street. Being the main street of the neighborhood, these safety changes were crucial in making Madison Street more pedestrian and cyclist friendly.

“We’re asking the city to take the necessary action with infrastructure and anything that will aid us and make us safer,” Chacon told NBC Chicago.

Bicycle Safety in Chicago

PeopleForBikes is a non-profit organization dedicated to making cycling safer so people will ride bicycles more often. They publish a global evaluation that ranks U.S. cities based on the city's commitment to bicycle safety and other factors. Last year, Chicago scored in the bottom 10 percent—scoring 16 points out of a possible 100.

StreetsBlog Chicago (Keating Law is a sponsor) lists the possible reasons for the low score as:

  • The city's default speed limit is 30 mph. Bicyclists who are hit by cars going 20 mph almost always survive, but the survival rate of cyclists drops to 50 percent when they are stuck by a car going 30 mph.
  • Lack of low-stress bike routes.
  • Lack of psychical protection on most local bikeways.
  • Poorly connected bike lanes.

Talk to a Chicago Bicycle Accident Lawyer if You've Been Injured

If you're in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver, the injuries you sustain can be life-changing. Likewise, filing a claim to pursue compensation for your damages and dealing with insurance adjusters can quickly go downhill.

Your losses represent nothing more than a threat to the insurance company's profits, and insurance adjusters will pull out all the stops to devalue or deny your claim.

That's why you need an experienced bicycle accident attorney from our law firm to look out for your best interests and fight for the compensation you deserve.

To learn more about how we can help you, contact Keating Law today at 833-CALL-KLO for a free consultation.

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