Riding a bike can be good for your health, but it also exposes you to some hazards. It is important to practice bicycle safety as well as to know the rules of the road. Under Illinois law, cyclists are expected to observe many of the same rules as motor vehicles, such as stopping at red lights and stop signs and signaling turns.
Following the rules
Other rules you are expected to observe include using reflectors and a headlight at night, riding on the right, and passing pedestrians on the left. You should ride with the flow of traffic and yield to pedestrians and other vehicles if they have the right of way. You are not permitted to have passengers on your bike.
There are also guidelines you should follow to make cycling safer for you and others using the roads and sidewalks. A bike helmet can help protect you in an accident. Wearing bright colors at all times of day makes it easier for drivers to see you. You should avoid distractions, including listening to music or podcasts that drown out other sounds you need to be able to hear. You should also keep an eye out for hazards in the road, from potholes and leaves to animals and glass. All of these can be more dangerous for you than for cars and may lead to bicycle accidents.
Good bicycle maintenance also helps keep you safe. You should inspect your bike to make sure it is working properly before setting out, including checking the air in the tires.
Like pedestrians and motorcyclists, cyclists do not have the protection of a large vehicle around them, and this can mean being particularly vigilant while on the road. Being a conscientious cyclist helps keep you, pedestrians, and drivers safer.