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Illinois Bicycle Laws

Posted on December 31, 2021 in

Many Illinois residents enjoy riding bicycles as an alternative form of transportation and enjoyable pastime. When cycling on Chicago roads, however, it is important to know the rules and regulations that apply to Illinois cyclists. These laws are crucial for preventing accidents and keeping bicyclists safe on the road.

Rights and Duties of Illinois Cyclists

When sharing the road with motorists, it is important to know your rights and duties as an Illinois cyclist. In simple terms, bicycles have the same responsibilities as any other vehicle on the road. You must follow the same traffic laws as motorists, including rules on the right of way, traffic signs, and road signals.

The State of Illinois Vehicle Code has specific statutes that cyclists must follow. These laws are designed to prevent accidents and keep cyclists safe. Some of the laws that are specific to cyclists include the following:

  • Cyclists are not allowed to ride on any sidewalk or pedestrian path where signs or local ordinances prohibit bicycle usage.
  • All bicycle riders under the age of 18 must wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet.
  • When riding on a roadway, cyclists must not ride more than two side by side. The cyclists must not impede traffic.
  • Cyclists must fit their bikes with proper safety equipment, including front headlights, rear red reflectors, functional brakes, and side and pedal reflectors.
  • When traveling on a roadway, cyclists should ride as far to the right side of the road as possible. There are certain exceptions to this rule, such as when a cyclist is turning left, overtaking another vehicle, or avoiding a road hazard.
  • Cyclists are prohibited from clinging onto or attaching themselves to a vehicle on the roadway.

Illinois Fault Accident Rules

Illinois follows a fault-based system when it comes to accidents on the road. Drivers who cause collisions are financially liable for the damages of their victims—including other motorists, passengers, and cyclists.

Under Illinois law, you have the right to file a lawsuit or insurance claim against the driver who caused your accident. With the help of a Chicago bike accident attorney, you could recover compensatory damages for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and more in a bicycle accident claim.

Comparative Negligence in Illinois Bicycle Accident Claims

If you are the victim of a Chicago bicycle accident, you could pursue legal action against the responsible driver—but your claim could be complicated by a failure to follow bicycle laws. During the insurance claim process, the representative assigned to your case may use this information as a reason to deny or reduce your claim.

During a lawsuit, Illinois’s modified comparative negligence rules will apply. If the court believes that you are partially responsible for the collision, it will assign a percentage of liability to you. Your award will be reduced by the percentage of fault you share. If you are 50% or more at fault for the collision, you will not recover any compensation at all.

For example, say that you are struck from behind by a driver who was tailgating you. However, an investigation reveals that you were not riding far to the right of the roadway. The court assigns 20% of the fault to you, and you will only receive $80,000 of your original $100,000 award.

To protect your right to compensation, you need a lawyer who can represent your claim and defend you against accusations of liability. As soon as possible following your accident, contact an Chicago personal injury lawyer to discuss your case and legal options.