The Chicago Bicycle Accident Injury Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. take note of recently announced plans to further expand the Divvy bike-sharing program throughout the Chicagoland area. Funded by a $3 million state grant, the expansion, planned to take place in 2015, will provide Evanston residents with 8 new docking stations, and Oak Park with 12 new stations. As stated in the Chicago Tribune, the funding will also help pay for 50 additional docking stations in Chicago’s West and far North Sides, including Rogers Park, West Rogers Park, Austin and Garfield Park.
Divvy Bike Share, commonly referred to as ‘Chicago’s newest transit system,’ has been quite successful since its launch last June, with nearly 2 million trips occurring this year alone, according to Divvy Trip Data. Further, membership to the program has almost doubled since last year, from 12,186 active members in 2013, to its more than 23,000 current members. In addition to the 70 new stations in Evanston, Oak Park, and Chicago’s West and North Sides, Divvy reports plans to add more than 100 more docking stations in 2015, for a total of 175 new stations and 1,750 more bikes. Upon completion, these expansions would provide Chicagoans with the most bike stations and largest service area in North America.
As bicycling enthusiasts ourselves, the attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. are pleased to see the growth of bike sharing in our communities. In addition to its health and environmental benefits, bike sharing contributes to economic growth, and has become an important component of the tourism industry. While we certainly support expansion efforts, riders are reminded to remain aware of the dangers of bicycling in the Chicagoland area, particularly when traveling along roadways shared with motorists.
As ridership rates continues to rise, it can be expected that more accidents will occur, simply due to the increased presence of bicyclists. However, bike sharing, in particular, presents unique concerns, because as statistics have shown bike share riders are much less likely to wear a helmet than other types of riders. As provided by WGN News broadcast, ‘Increase in Bike Use Brings Increase in Head Injuries,’ a study published in the American Journal of Public Health looked at the proportion and risk in cities with ride share programs, and found a 14% increase in bicycle-related head injuries.
Head trauma is amongst the most serious and devastating type of injury, and can lead to life-long complications, and even fatality. As noted in the WGN report referenced above, Dr. Jane Kayle Lee, a trauma surgeon, states that “the vast majority, so over 80% of the patients who come in for bicycle-related trauma who end up dying, were not wearing a helmet.” Lee goes on to say that “what we see here is a bleed in the left frontal lobe of the brain.”
As injury attorneys with decades of experience representing victims involved in bicycle accidents, we know firsthand the benefits that helmets offer in terms of reducing and preventing traumatic head and brain injuries. Quite simply, helmets save lives, and therefore we encourage their use at all times while bicycling, regardless of location (i.e. roadway or bike path), and regardless of rider type (i.e. tourist using bike sharing or experienced cyclist).
If you were injured or a loved one suffered a fatality in a bicycle accident that occurred in Chicago, or a surrounding suburb, the attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. want to help you and your family obtain the compensation deserved. Contact us online, or by calling 773-516-4100, and allow us to explain your legal rights during a FREE comprehensive case evaluation.