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Milwaukee bicycle accident attorneys, Wisconsin bicycle lawThough it is not the law in Wisconsin, wearing a helmet provides a substantial amount of protection in the instance of a bicycle accident. In fact, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, wearing a helmet can prevent approximately 85 percent of head injuries in bicyclists. Head injuries can result in multiple types of complications that affect thought processes, coordination, personality, and mobility.

Wisconsin Bicycle Law

Wisconsin law considers bicycles to be the same as motor vehicles. Bicyclists, like drivers, must ride in the same direction as traffic and follow all other traffic laws. Likewise, bicycles are to be treated as an equal user on the road.


Wisconsin injury attorney, Wisconsin accident lawyerLast year, Wisconsin saw a 22 percent increase in the number of pedestrian deaths (45 to 55). The number of bicycle deaths also increased, going from just four in 2014 to 15 in 2015. It might be easy to look at the pedestrian and bicyclist accident numbers and consider them the “price” of traffic and travel, but each death represents a person. A family that has lost someone they love. The Wisconsin Bike Fed is hoping to remind us of that through their Share and Be Aware program.

More Statistics on Pedestrian, Cyclist Accidents

According to an analysis of crash reports from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, more than 40 of the pedestrians killed from 2011 to 2013 were killed in crosswalks. The drivers who hit them all failed to yield, despite the Wisconsin law statute that requires all drivers yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Moreover, the analysis determined that at least 65 percent of all crosswalk intersection deaths are due to driver errors.

Wisconsin personal injury attorney, Wisconsin wrongful death lawyer, Wisconsin bike accident lawyerAs new modes of ecological and economical transportation evolve, cycling appears to be gaining ground but sharing the open road with motor vehicles has not always been a smooth ride. The number of Wisconsin bicycle fatalities and instances of personal injury are on the rise. At the end of 2015, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation reported a total of nine deaths involving cyclists. It is reported that motor vehicle operators were primarily responsible for 58 percent of cyclist fatalities while 24 percent of cyclist fatalities were the fault of the cyclist. Statistical data presented by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is even less optimistic. Cyclists are twice as likely as vehicle operators to experience personal injuries or fatalities while on the road. To ensure the evolution of  cycling, not only as a mode of  transportation but as a enjoyable physical activity, The Wisconsin Bike Federation, (formerly Over the Bars Wisconsin), the country’s largest, statewide bicycle organization, offers the following safety tips for all cycling enthusiasts. Avoiding the Hook This tip concentrates on both the left and right hook. While riding through an intersection to avoid the “left hook” watch for motorists turning left across your path. With regard to the “right hook” position yourself closer to the center of the right lane when passing through an intersection. Ride Responsibly
  • Never jump the curb and continue to ride on a sidewalk;
  • Never weave in and out of traffic;
  • Never ignore traffic signals or stop signs; and
  • Never ride against the flow of traffic.
Although these tips for the budding or experienced cyclist may appear simplistic, as cycling reaches new heights, especially in urban areas, any tip for improving cycling safety may prevent potential increases not only in personal injury but mortality rates as well. If you are  a cycling enthusiast and you recently sustained injuries due to an accident involving a motor vehicle or are seeking compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one, the skilled Milwaukee bicycle accident attorneys of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP are dedicated to protecting your legal rights while fighting for the compensation you deserve. Contact our office today at 414-271-1440 to schedule your consultation.




Wisconsin personal injury attorney, Wisconsin wrongful death lawyer, Wisconsin car crash lawyerGovernment officials are noticing a disturbing trend: although most of the nation is seeing a decrease in the number of automobile accidents and injuries (Wisconsin’s increased in 2015), there has been a drastic increase in the number of severe and fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists over the last decade. The recent government probe into why this increase is happening is providing little information as to how the problem may be fixed. U.S. Representatives Launch Government Accountability Office Study In an effort to determine what is causing the increase in pedestrian and bicycle accidents, U.S. Representatives Rick Larsen, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Peter DeFazi launched the Government Accountability Office. More importantly, they wanted to determine if there were any barriers to improving the overall safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. To do this, officials:
  • Examined National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data and National Automotive Sampling System data from 2004 to 2013;
  • Analyzed census data from 2005 to 2013;
  • Interviewed officials from seven major cities across the country;
  • Talked to U.S. Department of Transportation staff in three states; and
  • Spoke with people from 22 different bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations.
Their efforts did not turn up quite as much information as they had hoped. In fact, other than unearthing some highly disturbing statistics on just how grave the situation has become for pedestrians and bicyclists, they found very little in terms of how to solve the problem. Sharp Increase in Pedestrian and Bicyclist Fatalities While total traffic fatalities decreased by about 24 percent from 2004 to 2013, officials found that bicyclist and pedestrian deaths suffered a sharp and drastic increase during that time period, going from 1.9 percent and 10.9 percent to 2.3 percent and 14.5 percent of the total number of fatalities, respectively. Alcohol and distracted driving were found to be major factors, with alcohol contributing to 32 percent of all fatal bicycle and car crashes and 55 percent of all pedestrian and car crashes. Little Information on Road Design and Engineering Problems Despite being one of the major points officials hoped to cover in their study, they found very little information on how much design and engineering issues contribute to pedestrian and bicycle accidents. Part of the problem is that, when it comes to pedestrian and bicycle fatalities, little information is collected in general. This creates a serious barrier in determining what initiatives may help improve safety and which are already working. Larsen, who says he wants to see more action and funding put into pedestrian and bicyclist safety, allegedly plans to introduce a new measure next year that would require more data collection on bicyclist and pedestrian accidents. However, little is being said as to how that data might be used in the push for better safety laws, regulations, or provisions. Pedestrian or Bicycle Accident? You May Be Able to Seek Compensation Pedestrians and bicyclists are often at the greatest risk for death or injury in a traffic accident. If you or someone you love have been involved in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, and someone else’s negligence is to blame, you may be able to seek compensation. Dedicated, determined, and resourceful, the skilled Milwaukee personal injury attorneys at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, have more than 40 years of experience handling complex accident claims. Schedule your consultation to find out how we may be able to help with your case. Call 414-271-1440 today.



Bicycle Safety in Wisconsin

Posted on in Bicycle Accidents

Wisconsin bike accident attorney, accident liability, Wisconsin injury lawyerUnder Wisconsin law, bicycles are considered vehicles on the roadways, meaning cyclists have an obligation to obey the rules of the road in the same way all vehicles do.  They must also be treated as equal users of the road by other vehicles. Just because they are treated like vehicles, however, does not mean that cyclists are as safe as those riding in vehicles. In fact, bicycles are particularly vulnerable among road vehicles, evidenced by the fact that in 2013, In Wisconsin, one bicyclist was injured or killed every ten hours. There are several measures cyclists can take, however, to reduce the risk of crash, injury, or death.

Bicycle Accidents in Wisconsin by the Numbers

In 2013, there were 958 crashes involved bicyclists in Wisconsin, including 868 injuries and ten deaths. In almost every case where there is a crash between a bicycle and a motor vehicle, the cyclist is injured. Bicycles are not protected in the way other motor vehicles are, but there are several measures cyclists can take to reduce the risk of crash, injury, and death. Most bicycle crashes occur between the hours of 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm, after school and commuting home from work hours. It is very important to be extra-vigilant if cycling during those hours.

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