What responsibilities do cyclists have on the road?

On Behalf of The Law Offices of Goldfine & Bowles, P.C.

June 25, 2021

If you enjoy riding your bicycle in and around Peoria, Illinois, you’re definitely not alone. As a cyclist, whether you ride a regular bicycle or an electric one, it’s important to remember that you have the same responsibilities on the road as drivers of cars and other bigger vehicles. Traffic rules and regulations are in place to keep you, drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe while you share the road.

How can you stay safe while riding your bicycle on the road?

In order to prevent bicycle and motor vehicle collisions, the state has a set of road rules that cyclists must adhere to just like drivers of motor vehicles. Cyclists have responsibilities while sharing the road that are meant to keep them and everyone else safe. The following safety laws and tips for cyclists can potentially prevent bicycle and motor vehicle collisions:

• Some roads have areas specifically designated for bikes. Cyclists should ride in these bike lanes and other vehicles should steer clear of them even if there are no bikes around.
• Cyclists should not ride on highways, expressways and other roads that expressly prohibit them.
• Cyclists are required to ride in the same direction as all other traffic.
• Cyclists should travel to the right to avoid faster vehicles. If there are any road hazards, they may have to ride in the center of the lane to avoid them.
• Drivers are required to yield to the right of way of cyclists just like they are required to for other vehicles.
• Vehicles passing a bicycle are required to slow down and leave at least three feet of space between.
• Crowding or threatening a cyclist is prohibited.
• Drivers of cars and other motor vehicles should never park in a bike lane.
• Vehicles following cyclists must give plenty of space between so they can stop safely. They must take extra caution when the weather is snowy or icy.
• High beam headlights should never be used at night when a cyclist is too near.
• Motorists must check for bicycles before they open their doors after parking.
• If a driver is making a left turn and a cyclist is entering the intersection from the opposite direction, they are required to wait for the cyclist to pass first. If there is a cyclist in the left-turn lane, drivers must stay behind until they have completed their turn safely.
• If drivers are making a right turn and a bicycle is approaching at the right, they must wait for the cyclist to go through the intersection before proceeding. Drivers should also always signal when turning.
• Electric or gas bikes with motors less than 1 horsepower should only be operated by riders who are at least 16.
• Electric or gas bikes that are low speed can be driven only on streets and must not be faster than 20 miles per hour. They cannot be driven on the sidewalk.
• Electric or gas bikes are required to follow the same laws as cyclists riding regular bicycles.

Who can help you if you’re involved in a bicycle accident?

An attorney can help you if you have been in an accident while riding your bicycle that was caused by the negligence of another driver. Your attorney can help you prepare an injury claim so you can recover the damages you are due.