Cook County Bicycle Helmet Laws

Cyclists face countless hazards every day, from harsh weather to dangerous drivers and even poorly designed roadways. The potential for an accident or a fall is always present, and these vehicles offer little protection, risking serious injuries like head and brain trauma.

However, current Cook County bicycle helmet laws do not mandate use for all riders. Despite this, safety experts and law enforcement still highly recommend wearing head protection to prevent harm. When you are left with injuries and damages following a bike crash, whether you wore a helmet or not, it could be helpful to talk to a dedicated cyclist crash attorney.

Local Bicycle Helmet Regulations

Each state approaches bike regulations differently. Some jurisdictions have little to no requirements for their riders, while others heavily regulate everything from headgear to the color of reflectors.

In Illinois, there are no requirements for adult or child bikers to wear helmets on public streets. There have been debates over the years about requiring the use of safety equipment, and although the law can always change in the future, the state has yet to make these alterations.

Chicago does not require bikers to wear any kind of safety gear while riding. This applies to adults and adolescents, despite well-documented evidence that headgear can dramatically reduce brain injuries among kids.

However, there is one exception to be aware of that applies in the city but not statewide. According to city code, certain professionals, like bike messengers and delivery riders, must wear a helmet when on duty.

man wearing helmet with bike

Safety Considerations

Even though Cook County’s bicycle regulations do not require headgear, it can significantly minimize the risk of serious injury. Most cycling deaths result from head trauma due to a fall or collision with a motor vehicle. Headgear can absorb much of the impact that occurs in a crash to reduce overall harm.

Safety equipment is a good idea for all riders and is especially important for children. Most juveniles do not yet have a fully developed skull and cannot handle the same impact as adults.

Can the Lack of a Helmet Disrupt an Injury Claim?

In some jurisdictions, failure to wear a helmet can have detrimental effects on a cyclist’s civil case. This is possible in places that have adopted a comparative negligence rule. Under this standard, a plaintiff cannot recover financial compensation for their injuries if they were 50 percent or more at fault.

In addition, failure to wear bike headgear can be treated as contributory negligence, limiting the financial recovery in a case. The good news is that Cook County finds this information irrelevant to the question of liability, and it cannot be considered by a judge or jury when determining who was at fault.

Learn More About Bike Helmet Laws in Cook County Today

Despite Cook County bicycle helmet laws being lax, safety equipment while biking is always a good idea. When you have been injured in a bicycle wreck despite taking every possible precaution, it may be time to seek legal advice.

Reach out right away for a private consultation with a personal injury lawyer. Our team could help you build a solid case for compensation.