Chicago | Illinois Bicycle Laws Attorney

Illinois Bicycle Laws

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Illinois bicycle laws and Illinois motorized bicycle laws are there to protect us as cycling enthusiasts in this great state that is so filled with amazing landscapes seeming to continuously call out to us to bike Illinois!

The League of American Bicyclists (https://www.bikeleague.org/ ) states that with our mix in Illinois of flat prairies, rolling hills, tall bluffs, and lakefront views it is no surprise that we rank 16th in a list of the most bike-friendly state’s in the U.S. and those bicycle accidents are now also on the rise across the state.

As Bicycling grows in popularity, and despite Illinois bicycle laws, bicycle accidents and fatalities are also increasing.

As Bicycle riding grows in popularity, so, unfortunately, do bicycle accidents. Despite Illinois bike laws being in place, we see in major cities like Chicago statistics from organizations like Rospa.com stating that around 75% of fatal or serious cyclist accidents occur in urban areas. These statistics revealed that 75% of these accidents happen at, or near, a road junction and 80% occur in daylight.

Stanford Children’s Health reports that each year an average of 100 children are killed in bicycle accidents and an additional 254,000 are injured in either bicycle or bicycle-related accidents with half of those fatalities occur on rural roads.

If you have been in a bicycle accident, we want you to take these steps listed below.

Ride Illinois is an organization that seeks to guide and direct bicycle riders in Illinois to be safe riders if however you find yourself in an accident despite your best safe riding efforts call one of our experienced attorneys, and take these steps as much as possible:

Call the police.

Almost anywhere across the state, you are required to file a police report when there is an accident involving an injury, your attorney will request this also. Anyone that was involved in your accident needs to share information like insurance and contact details with you, this is the best time to get this information and it will be important to have.

Get checked out by a medical professional.

Without fail make sure you seek medical attention, even if you think you are not injured immediately. It can take some time for the adrenaline to clear and injuries or inflammation to become visible. If, as often happens, injuries reveal themselves over a day or more after the accident, the driver may suggest that your injuries were caused elsewhere, so seek medical attention while at the scene of the accident when possible.

Get witness and driver information.

Be careful not to assume that the police will get witness information for you. In a case where the question of fault depends on your word against the driver’s, an independent witness makes all the difference; so, be sure to get the phone numbers and addresses of any witnesses while you are at the scene. Try asking someone else to collect it for you if you are not able to at the time.

Preserve evidence.

Your visible injuries, bicycle, clothing, helmet, and anything else damaged in the crash is evidence and, as such, keep them preserved and documented. Take pictures of any visible injuries, the scene, and any damage to your bicycle or other vehicles involved.

Protect yourself and wear an approved helmet whenever possible, we will fight for you if you have been injured, we prefer that you never have to make that request.

Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD. has over 77 combined years of experience advocating for over 20,000 injury victims and their families. We advocate on your behalf so that you can focus on the task of recovery.

As experienced personal injury well acquainted with Illinois Bicycle laws, our attorneys, we can help you evaluate the facts, assess your options, navigate the legal challenges, and advocate on your behalf. Call us at 800.722.9744 today to receive a FREE consultation with the team at the Law Offices of Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD.

Illinois Bicycle Accident FAQ

Does a bicycle have to follow the same rules as a vehicle in Illinois?

Do you have to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle in Illinois?

Where am I allowed to ride my bicycle in Illinois?

Do I need any kind of equipment to ride my bicycle in Illinois?

Can I still be compensated if I was partially at fault in a Bicycle Accident in Illinois?

Who has the right of way when I'm riding my bicycle in Illinois?

Who is responsible if I was hit by a car's open door when I was riding my bicycle in Illinois?

How much space am I entitled to on the road as a bicyclist in Illinois?


Does a bicycle have to follow the same rules as a vehicle in Illinois?

In the State of Illinois, cyclists are given the same rights and duties as someone who operates a motor vehicle. When riding a bicycle in Illinois, you will have to follow the same traffic laws as other vehicles, with the exception of laws that could not be applied to a bicycle due to its functions.

Do you have to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle in Illinois?

Helmets are required when riding a bicycle for children and for messengers and delivery people. Adults who are not actively working in those capacities have the freedom to choose. However, it is still a very good idea to wear a helmet even if it is not legally required, as approximately three quarters of the bicycle-related deaths in the country are caused by head injuries.

Where am I allowed to ride my bicycle in Illinois?

When riding on a public road, bicycles are expected to stay as close as they safely can to the right side of the road. Some exceptions to this include:

  • Passing another bicyclist
  • Preparing for a left-hand turn
  • When avoiding fixed or slow-moving obstacles in the road.
  • On one-way roads, when you are expected to stay as close to the left-hand side of the road as safely possible.

Do I need any kind of equipment to ride my bicycle in Illinois?

When riding your bicycle in the State of Illinois, your bicycle should be equipped with a lamp on the front which emits a white light visible from at least 500 feet away. You should also have a rear red reflector. These improve the visibility of your bicycle in poor lighting or other times of poor visibility and are required in order to ride at night.

Can I still be compensated if I was partially at fault in a Bicycle Accident in Illinois?

Illinois follows a set of rules for determining fault called 'modified comparative negligence'. This means that even if you were found to be partially at fault, as long as it was less than 51%, you can still be eligible to receive a portion of the damages.

The percentage of your damages that you can recover are reduced by the percentage of fault that you are found to have for your accident, however. For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault, you would only be able to receive up to 80% of your damages in compensation.

Who has the right of way when I'm riding my bicycle in Illinois?

In most circumstances, the bicyclist has the right of way over other vehicles. This is especially relevant in the case of turning, where a motorist must wait if a bicyclist is turning. If a bicyclist is passing on the right and a motorist intends to turn, they must also wait until the bicyclist is fully through and past them.

Who is responsible if I was hit by a car's open door when I was riding my bicycle in Illinois?

These kinds of accidents, referred to as 'Dooring', are surprisingly common. Most frequently, accidents in which someone opens the door of a vehicle into the path of a bicyclist occur on diagonal intersections. According to Illinois law, occupants of a car have a responsibility not to open the door of their car unless it is safe to do so. In most cases, this places the burden on the driver of the vehicle to prove that they had taken reasonable care to make sure that it was safe before opening their door.

How much space am I entitled to on the road as a bicyclist in Illinois?

When passing someone riding a bicycle, drivers are required to leave a minimum of three feet between their vehicle and the bicyclist. This is referred to as the "3-Foot Rule". Unfortunately, many drivers often violate this rule, and it is a common source of bicycle accidents.

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