Who Has The Right Of Way – A Bicycle or Car?

When you are operating a vehicle on the roadway, you are going to encounter situations where you have the right of way and situations where you do not have the right of way. This can be challenging, particularly when dealing with bicyclists and pedestrians along with other vehicles. Here, we want to discuss whether a bicycle or a car has the right of way on the roadway so that you can take the steps necessary to ensure your safety and the safety of others around you.

Who Has The Right Of Way – A Bicycle or Car_

What Illinois Law Says About Bicycles and the Right of Way

Vehicle drivers must respect the rights of bicyclists in Illinois. State law makes it very clear that bicycles are considered vehicles for the purposes of roadway usage. Illinois state law says that bicyclists should right as close to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway when practicable. Bicyclists are allowed to move left if:

  • They are overtaking another bicycle or vehicle that is proceeding slower in the same lane
  • When preparing for a left-hand turn
  • When necessary to avoid hitting fixed or moving objects
  • When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized
  • When riding on a one-way highway with two or more mark traffic lanes

Bicyclists in Illinois are supposed to ride in the same direction as vehicle traffic. Bicyclists are allowed to ride two abreast so long as the normal movement of traffic is not impeded by doing so.

Anytime a vehicle driver fails to yield the right of way to a bicyclist, they will likely be held at fault if they cause an accident. Police officers will conduct an investigation in the aftermath of a crash, and insurance carriers will get involved to determine exactly what happened.

Bicyclists Have to Yield as Well

Bicyclists in Illinois have to yield the right of way to others on the roadway as well. Again, we have to reiterate that bicyclists are considered vehicles, and they have the same responsibilities as any other driver on the roadway.

  • When coming to a stop sign at a two-way stop intersection, bicyclists have to yield to pedestrians and vehicles on the cross street before proceeding.
  • When coming to a four-way stop intersection, the vehicle or the bicyclist who arrives first will have the right of way.
  • When approaching unmarked intersections, one where there is no traffic sign or signal, drivers and bicyclists on the left must yield to those on the right.
  • Bicyclists have to yield to emergency vehicles when the lights are flashing and the sirens are activated. Bicyclists should pull to the side of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle passes.

Working With an Attorney if a Bicycle Accident Occurs

If you or somebody you care about is injured in a bicycle accident caused by the actions of another driver who failed to yield the right of way, please seek legal assistance as soon as possible. A skilled bike accident attorney in Chicago will be able to investigate every aspect of your claim and help uncover the evidence needed to prove liability. An attorney will be able to vigorously negotiate with insurance carriers involved in order to obtain the best possible settlement on your behalf. If necessary, an attorney can take your case all the way to trial to ensure that you receive coverage for your medical bills, lost income, property damage expenses, pain and suffering damages, and more.