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.
- 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.
- 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.