Does Chicago Have Laws Protecting Cyclists?
Yes. In Chicago as in most cities, bicyclists are subject to many of the same rules of the road as motor vehicles. At the same time, there are laws that motorists must observe while sharing the road with bicycles.
In Chicago and Illinois, cycling laws are in place to prevent traffic accidents and protect bicyclists from injury. When these laws are ignored, accidents often occur that cause serious injury to cyclists. If a motorist was violating a city traffic ordinance, it may help determine fault or liability for injuries to the cyclist.
Chicago Municipal Code (Section 9-52) requires bicyclists to follow the rules of the road or be subject to a penalty. The law also subjects motorists to certain rules designed to prevent bike accidents.
The following laws specifically apply to motorists when cyclists are in the vicinity:
- Motorists must use due care to avoid crashing into a bicyclist.
- Motorists must yield the right-of-way to bicyclists traveling the opposite direction when making a left hand turn. This includes bicycles that are in or approaching an intersection.
- When making a right turn, motorists must not turn in front of a bicyclist traveling in the same direction.
- Motorists must give at least three feet of clearance when passing a bicycle in the same direction and maintain that clearance until they have safely passed the bicycle.
- Motorists should never drive, stand or park in a designated bike lane.
- It is illegal to open a vehicle door into oncoming traffic unless it is safe to do so, and only to load or unload passengers.
Illinois state statute (625 ILCS 5/) sets forth many of the same rights and responsibilities for bicyclists as the Chicago ordinance. Among other rules, it provides that bicyclists are subject to the same traffic laws as motorized vehicles.
It also requires motorists to use due care when sharing the road with bicyclists, yield to bicyclists turning left at an intersection, and use caution when opening a car door or loading passengers into oncoming traffic.
Do You Need Legal Help With a Chicago Bicycle Accident Involving an Injury?
After a bike accident involving a vehicle, auto insurance companies often try to offer you a quick settlement in hopes you will take their low offer and sign away your future recovery rights. Before you consider resolving a bike injury case by yourself, speak with a law firm that has successfully resolved hundreds of claims and lawsuits for injured cyclists.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC provides a no obligation case review for all Chicago area bicycle injury and related accidents. Call us at 888-424-5757 or complete our online contact form for assistance.