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National Bike Month: Illinois Bike Laws

May is National Bike Month! This month is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and is celebrated all over the United States. Biking has many benefits such as being a great way to get exercise, a way to eliminate your carbon copy, and a way to allow you to save money on your daily commute. With that said, bicyclists are subjected to many dangers while on the road. Often times, other drivers fail to see them, thus not leaving them ample space to manoeuver. Fortunately, the State of Illinois has many laws in place to protect cyclists and keep them safe on roadways. Listed below are some of the laws in place in Illinois that are designed to keep cyclists safe.

Safe Passing Laws

  • Illinois requires that motor vehicle drivers that decide to pass a bicycle going the same direction must leave a safe distance, not less than three feet, between the vehicle and the bicyclist. They must maintain the distance until they have safely passed the bicycle.

Treatment as a Vehicle

  • In our state, bicycles are not vehicles according to the statute that defines vehicles. However, an individual riding a bicycle is subjected to all the rights and duties that a motor vehicle driver has. That means that bicyclists must follow the same rules that drivers do, and drivers must treat bicyclists the same way they would treat drivers of other motor vehicles.

Dooring Law

  • Under Illinois Law, no individual is able to open the door of a vehicle unless it is safe to do so, or when it can be done without interfering with a cyclist. Also, you cannot leave a door open that is in the way of moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary.

Helmet Law

  • Our state currently has no helmet law. It is legal for all individuals of any age to operate a bike without a helmet. With that said, it is a good idea to wear a helmet, particularly if you have little experience riding a bike, as it will help avoid injuries to the head if a crash occurs.

The following laws are all in place to minimize the risk that comes with riding a bike and also to reduce conflicts between bikes and vehicles. Whether you are driving a car or riding a bike, it is imperative to follow the laws in our state in order to keep yourself and others safe. Failure to do so can result in a ticket, injuries, or fatalities.

If you or a loved one has sustained an injury as the result of a bicycle accident, you don’t have to suffer alone.  The compassionate bicycle accident attorneys at Spiros Law P.C. understand the pain and suffering you are going through and will fight on your behalf against individuals who endanger our roads. Contact us at (217) 443-4343 to speak about your unique situation today.

Bicyclist dead in Skokie semi-truck accident

A man riding a bicycle was recently killed in an accident after he was struck by a semi-truck in Skokie village, an article of Chicago Tribune reported on November 16.

Reports coming from Skokie police officer Eric Swaback said the accident happened at around 5:00 p.m. on November 13 near McCormick Boulevard. James Hinton, 43, was reportedly riding in the eastbound lane on Howard Street when he was hit from behind by a semi-truck in the same lane. Hinton later succumbed to his injuries after he was taken to a hospital in Evanston, police said. He was pronounced dead at 5:42 that evening.

The truck driver, whose name has not yet been released, remained at the crash scene and cooperated with responding police. Charges or citations were not filed and authorities continue to work to figure out the cause of the accident. At this point it is believed that no drugs or alcohol were involved in the collision.

Car, minibike collision leaves two girls injured

A collision between a car and minibike last Friday in Kankakee left two girls injured.

According to police officials, the accident occurred when a Kia Elantra struck the minibike carrying the girls while traveling in the same direction. The 12-year-old girl driving the minibike and her 11-year-old passenger both suffered injuries and were transported to two separate hospitals in order to receive treatment.

The 63-year-old driver of the car was not cited by police in the accident. He stated that he was unable to see the minibike because it lacked lights or reflectors.

Minibike and bicycle accidents can cause serious injuries. Contact the Danville personal injury lawyers of Spiros Law, P.C., in order to discuss  your legal options if you have been injured in an auto accident.