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Some Chicago bicyclists are documenting car accidents

Chicago's evening news often highlights footage from the many traffic and police cameras located across the city, disseminating grainy images of crimes and other activity that law enforcement officers' hope will help catch perpetrators. While such cameras sometimes catch the frequent car accidents that occur on local streets, most fender benders and other vehicle incidents are missed by the city's video surveillance.

A new population of area drivers is taking this matter into its own hands. Area bicyclists have begun to mount video cameras on their bikes to capture footage of their rides and to document the incidents that put them in danger.

While some bicyclists attempt to operate defensively and obey the rules of the road, some find themselves victims of intentional crimes. Cyclists in the area have fallen victim to an internet-popularized threat that involves people in cars waiting for bicyclists to approach before opening their car doors in front of the moving bikes. Some bicyclists have been severely injured in these incidents and have found themselves pushed into busy streets as a result of being forced off of their bikes.

Not all encounters between cars and bikes are intentional, nor are all such encounters the fault of automobile drivers. Some cyclists fail to operate according to state laws and put themselves and others in dangerous traffic situations.

Although the number of bike-involved accidents has dropped over the last few years and more people are taking to local roads on bicycles, such collisions still happen and determining liability can be very complicated. With video footage from handlebar-mounted cameras, local bicyclists may have stronger evidence of recovering their damages against negligent drivers and individuals who intentionally put cyclists in harm's way.

Source: ABC 7 News, "From the handlebars, eye-opening bike dangers captured on video," Eric Horng, July 11, 2013