Garbage Truck Kills Illinois Bicyclist Talking on Cell Phone

By October 10, 2007Traffic Safety

In Chicago Illinois, a 19-year-old woman on a bicycle was struck and killed by a garbage truck while talking on a cell phone. The accident happened just after 4 p.m. when a garbage truck, was making a right-hand turn struck the woman, who was riding a bicycle.
The woman was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 4:37 p.m.. According to a spokesman for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
The garbage truck driver was cited for making an improper right turn, The victim, however, was talking on her cell phone before the garbage truck struck and killed her, police said.
Between 2002 and 2006, there was an average of about 22 fatal accidents per year involving bicyclists in Illinois, the majority of which were in Cook County, according to state transportation statistics. But that’s not the whole story, said Randy Neufeld, chief strategist for the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation. According to statistics from the Illinois Department of Transportation, more than 3,000 cases per year result in serious injury to cyclists – slightly more than half the figure of accidents involving pedestrians, Neufeld said.
Some of those accidents, such this one may have been prevented if cyclists were more alert, But when it comes to avoiding accidents, some of the responsibility, lies with motorists who are responsible for making sure they see cyclists before making turns.. Bycilists also bear responsibility to make sure they ride carefully.
I live off of a two lane road on which bicylists love to ride. Many times they ride side by side and I have to pass them by diriving into the on coming traffic lanes. If you are a bicyclist and driving on a two lane road be respectful to the cars that have to try to avoid you on the roads. If there is no shoulder or bike lanes drive in a line as close to the side of the road as possible so that cars do not have to drive very far into the oncoming traffic to pass you. If you are respectful of cars they will be respectful of you.