Motorcycle, Scooter/Moped and Autocycle Safety
Motorcycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as other roadway users. Because of their size and vulnerability in a crash, it is important to pay special attention to motorcycles.
More than 50 percent of all motorcycle collisions occur at intersections. The most common situation occurs when an oncoming automobile makes a left turn in front of a motorcycle. Watch for motorcycles before turning and yield the right-of-way. Be particularly careful when making a left turn across lanes of oncoming traffic. Always use your signals and look in all directions before making the turn. Don’t be misled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle — motorcycle signals usually are not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed.
Illinois allows a motorcycle rider to proceed, after yielding the right-of-way to oncoming traffic, through a red light that fails to turn green after waiting for at least 120 seconds.
Statistics for 2012*
- In Illinois, 80% of motorcycle fatalities were persons not wearing helmets.
- Helmets saved the lives of 1,699 motorcyclists nationally.
- Motorcycle helmets are estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries.
- 4,957 fatalities were reported in 2012 motorcycle crashes compared to 4,612 in 2011.
- 27% of motorcycle riders in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher.
- In 2012, 34% of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding, compared to 22% for passenger vehicles.
A scooter may be titled and registered in Illinois if it displays a federal safety certification label in addition to a vehicle identification number (VIN).
Scooter or moped drivers must obey all signs, signals and traffic laws and are subject to most laws regarding the use of bicycles. Mopeds or scooters carrying two people must be equipped with a seat and footrest for the passenger. If driven at night, it must have a headlight visible from at least 500 feet and a taillight on the rear that is visible from at least 100-600 feet.
To determine what type of driver's license is required to operate a scooter or moped on Illinois roadways, visit the Illinois Rules of the Road.
An autocycle is a three-wheeled vehicle that has a steering wheel and seating that does not require the driver to straddle or sit astride it. This type of vehicle may be operated on Illinois roadways when correctly titled and registered with the Secretary of State. The operator of the vehicle must have a valid Illinois driver's license to legally operate the vehicle.