Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety
Bicycle riding is a great way to get into shape and enjoy the outdoors. To remain safe on Illinois roads, it is important to follow the same traffic safety laws that govern vehicle drivers.
Illinois law requires motorists when passing a bike rider(s) to keep at least three feet between their vehicle and the bicycle. No amount of bicycle safety equipment can adequately protect a rider from the dangerous force of a car or truck if involved in a vehicle collision. The best way to avoid injury is by being prepared for the dangers that streets pose to bicycle riders, obeying the rules of the road and wearing a properly fitted helmet at all times.
Illinois in 2011:
- There were 27 bicyclists killed in traffic fatalities.
Nationally in 2011
- There were 677 bicyclists killed and 48,000 were injured. This is a 9% increase over 2010.
- The average age of a bicyclist killed was 43.
- Individuals under age 16 accounted for 10% of all bicyclists killed and 19% of those injured in traffic crashes.
- 13% of the bicyclists killed in traffic crashes were between 5 and 15 years old.
- Alcohol was involved in 37%of the bicyclist fatalities.
- 69% of bicycle deaths occurred in urban areas, and 59% occurred at non-intersection locations.
- Bicyclists fatalities are more likely to occur between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
- The fatality rate per capita was six times higher for males than for females and the injury rate per capita is more than four times higher for males.
A driver must come to a complete stop (and yield):
- When a pedestrian is in a marked crosswalk.
- On school days, when children are in close proximity to a school zone crosswalk.
A driver must yield to a pedestrian:
- When a pedestrian is in an unmarked crosswalk on the driver's side of the roadway and there are no traffic control signals.
- When making a turn at any intersection.
- When making a lawful turn on a red light after coming to a complete stop.
- After coming to a complete stop at a stop sign or flashing red signal at an intersection.
- When a pedestrian enters a crosswalk before the traffic light changed.
- When a pedestrian is walking with a green light, to a walking person symbol or a walk signal.
- When a pedestrian is leaving or entering a street or highway from an alley, building, private road or driveway.
For more information, please see the Rules of the Road.
Illinois in 2011
- There were 134 pedestrian fatalities in Illinois.
Nationally in 2011
- 4,432 pedestrians were killed and 69,000 injured in traffic crashes.
- An average of one pedestrian is killed in a traffic crash every 2 hours and one is injured every 8 minutes.
- Alcohol was involved (either for the driver or the pedestrian) in 48% of the traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities. Of the pedestrians involved, 35% were intoxicated with a BAC of .08 or greater.
- Children age 15 and younger accounted for 6% of the pedestrian fatalities and older persons (age 65+) accounted for 19%of all pedestrian fatalities.
- 39% of all pedestrian fatalities occurred on weekends.
- 32% of pedestrian fatalities occurred in crashes between 8 p.m. and midnight.