Traffic Laws for Bicyclists in Cook County

Cycling is a common form of transportation, recreation, and exercise in Cook County. While there are plenty of health benefits to riding a bike, there are also notable risks that could lead to serious harm and financial instability.

The state has enacted traffic laws for bicyclists in Cook County, intended to keep them and those they share the road with safe. Unfortunately, accidents still happen, but you could call a dedicated bike crash attorney for help when they do.

Sharing the Road

Under Illinois law, bicycles in Cook County are not classified as vehicles like cars, trucks, or motorcycles. Still, bikers share many of the same rights and obligations as motorists.

Roads throughout the county include bike path routes for cyclists, but they are not required to take these. Instead, they can remain on the public roadways if they choose, but must ride as close to the righthand side as possible when they cannot keep up with traffic.

In addition, it is legal for two people to ride side by side as long as they do not impede traffic. While there are no limits on riding like this on designated biking lanes, most areas prohibit cyclists on sidewalks.

Driver Behavior Toward Bikers

There are limitations on motorists’ behavior when cyclists are nearby. For example, they must maintain a minimum of three feet of distance from a bicycle any time they overtake one on the roadway. Driving recklessly—including coming dangerously close to a rider—is not only prohibited but can lead to serious criminal charges.

bike on road

Bike Equipment Requirements

The laws regarding proper biking equipment in Cook County are relatively lax. For instance, most people do not have to wear a helmet while riding, including children in most Cook County municipalities. In addition, adults are free to choose whether to use safety devices, with two exceptions: Cyclist messengers and delivery riders are required to have headgear.

Additionally, specific equipment must be attached to a bike to enhance visibility. Anyone riding at night must have a white headlight and a rear light or reflector, both must be visible from at least 500 feet away. Similarly, braking systems are mandatory.

Bike Laws and Personal Injury Cases

These rules and regulations could help determine who is at fault in a collision. A successful personal injury lawsuit requires proof of negligence, which could occur when someone violates the rules of the road.

All Cook County motorists owe a duty of care to the people they share the road with, including bikers. If their careless or reckless actions cause an injury, they could be held liable in a civil lawsuit. A typical example is when a driver fails to keep at least three feet of distance when attempting to overtake a bicycle. Our team of hardworking lawyers could provide more information on vital steps in personal injury cases for bike crashes involving negligence.

Talk to an Attorney in Cook County About Traffic Laws for Bikers Today

Following traffic laws for bicyclists in Cook County is often enough to prevent a wreck. However, you might have a case for financial compensation when you are struck and injured by a car while riding.

A dedicated lawyer could advise you of your legal options and build evidence for liability. Call us immediately to schedule a consultation and get started now.