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All Press Releases for January 17, 2014 »
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Divvy Bike Accidents A Growing Threat

Bicycles have long been involved in a disproportionate percentage of traffic accidents. Those who commute regularly by bicycle understand the dangers posed by cars, buses and taxis on Chicago streets.
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    CHICAGO, IL, January 17, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Bicycles have long been involved in a disproportionate percentage of traffic accidents. Those who commute regularly by bicycle understand the dangers posed by cars, buses and taxis on Chicago streets. Distracted driving is a growing problem and it is life-threatening to even the most experienced and skilled bikers. A program that encourages unprepared, inexperienced riders to go helmetless through a city they may not be familiar with is a recipe for disaster.

The Divvy bike-sharing program has enabled nearly 700,000 rides on Chicago streets since its inception. It is set up to provide bike rentals in Chicago year-round. It is a fair question to ask how many of those rides involved a bicyclist wearing a helmet. How many were undertaken by riders who knew the biking laws of Illinois? How many involved a rider who was able to confidently navigate Chicago's busy urban environment? The company running, and profiting from, the Divvy bike program, Alta Bike Share, should be aware of the safety concerns surrounding its service.

Alta is certainly aware of some issues surrounding Divvy bike accidents. A consumer visiting one of the Divvy kiosks will be asked to agree to a lengthy waiver form before using one of the bikes. Chicago City Hall insisted that Alta indemnify it against lawsuits involving injuries caused by the bikes. Alta's kiosks in Boston will soon be equipped with vending machines where riders can rent or buy helmet for their journey. Finally, Divvy provides a safety guide to riders who pay for an annual membership, though it does not provide the guide to those who buy daily passes.

Assessing the safety and knowledge of Divvy bike users compared to other bicycle riders in Chicago is difficult. Most likely, people who do not have their own bikes will not have their own helmets. Experienced riders would be less likely to rely on unfamiliar equipment to get around. Divvy has had success getting inexperienced riders onto bicycles. The consequences of that success could be injured pedestrians, dooring accidents and car-bike collisions.

Divvy Bike Accident Lawsuits

The responsibilities of the various parties in accidents involving bike-sharing travel are not clearly defined. Illinois law grants bicyclists the same rights and responsibilities as anyone operating a vehicle on city streets. It is less clear about the responsibilities of those distributing those bikes. The realities of the Divvy bike program raise questions about whether users will wear helmets and operate their bicycles safely. When a serious accident does occur, victims and their families will likely need a Chicago personal injury attorney to hold the negligent parties accountable.

At McNabola Law Group, our Chicago personal injury trial lawyers are strong advocates for injured adults, children and newborns. We are proud of our record of recovering over $500 million in settlements and verdicts on behalf of people who have suffered injury or loss because of someone else's negligence or misconduct.

McNabola Law Group
55 West Wacker Drive, 9th Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312-629-2900
Toll Free: 800-704-2900

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