Since its invention in mass production, the bicycle has been a favorite mode of transportation in Chicago and the United States. In addition to bicycling for recreation and exercise, many people opt for bicycles as a means of commuting to and from offices, work or school. Cycling is done to avoid problems caused by traffic congestion, pollution and other problems related to commuting by car. Chicago is a fabulous city to explore by bicycle. The city has a national reputation as one of the best large cities in the United States for cycling. The city has over 200 miles of on-street protected, buffered and shared bike lanes and more than 1300 bike racks and bike parking areas.
Accidents involving bicycles do happen from time to time. In the case of this unfortunate occurrence, you should immediately seek the services of personal injury lawyers such as Abels & Annes to represent and help you receive compensation for injuries sustained, due to negligence, recklessness or abuse of other road users. To prevent bicycle accidents resulting from reckless road use, Chicago has set out laws and regulations governing road usage by bicycles.
Bicycling in Chicago: Rules on the Road
The Municipal Codes of Chicago (MCC) in collaboration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has come up with laws and regulations to control and protect road usage by cyclists. Whether you are an experienced cyclist or new to urban cycling, here are primary bike legislation to follow to help in your safety and that of others.
- Plan a sensible route; from shared traffic lanes to car-free paths, choose a route that suits our comfort levels. You can be guided by Chicago bike map to find the best map.
- Perform a pre-ride check. This check should involve adjusting the seat to a comfortable height, performing brake test and checking on tire performance.
- Always wear a helmet. Ensure that it fits snugly and wear it level on your head. Do not forget to buckle the chin strap.
- Ride with traffic. The law requires bicycle riders to ride in the same direction as cars. If there is no any marked bike lane, ride as far to the right as possible, as you stay 3-4 feet from the curb or a parked car.
- Always obey traffic signals. The same laws of obeying all traffic lights and signs apply to bikes as to motor vehicles in Chicago.
- Stay off sidewalks. The law requires bicycle riders to ride on a bike path or the right side of the road. Leave the sidewalk for pedestrian traffic only.
- Cyclists are required to stop for people walking when the law requires it. Stopping should occur as points such as crosswalks and intersections. Make use of lights and bells appropriately.
- Bicycle users are required to use hand signals to inform drivers and other road users on the direction they are going. To turn left, stick out your left arm straight and for a right turn, stick out your right hand straight out.
- It is illegal to talk to people on your phone while riding. At all times, never ride distracted.