Posted on May 09, 2012

May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, with today, in particular, being Bike to School Day, so be sure to keep a special lookout for children tonight during the evening commute and especially in school zones.

Laws for Drivers and Bicyclists to Remember

Next week, May 14-18, is Bike to Work Week with Bike to Work Day on Friday the 18th. Bicycles are considered vehicles and therefore must obey the same laws as automobiles, such as stopping at red lights, using turn signals via arms and pedestrians having the right of way at crosswalks. The cause of most adult bicycle crashes are left turning motorists who claim not to see the bicycle, though only 11% of bicycle accidents involve a motor vehicle. Below is a list compiled of a few important laws Hupy and Abraham want you to remember this biking month and outdoor season.

For Drivers

Right of way order is as follows at a crosswalk: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists.

When passing around a bicycle, leave no less than three feet of clearance and do so with extreme caution, aware of surrounding obstacles such as other motorists and upcoming traffic signals.

If a vehicle in front of you is stopped to crossing pedestrians and bicyclists, it is illegal for you to go around that vehicle and pass them. Since they are in front of you, they have the right of way.

For Bicyclists

Hand signals for turning, stopping and decreasing speed must be executed on the left side, though right turns only may be executed on the right.

Ride in the same direction as traffic and to the right of the road. It is illegal to ride against traffic.

Yield to pedestrians and electric personal assistive mobility device at crosswalks as they have the right of way.

Lanes specially marked, such as “right turn only,” must be obeyed. If you are not turning, do not ride straight through the lane; move over to the next unmarked lane.

Do not weave in and out of traffic or between and around cars.

Be predictable.

Though it isn’t required by law in either Wisconsin or Illinois, it is highly recommended a helmet be worn. It will not only increase safety but may also help your case if involved in an accident.

For Both Drivers and Bicyclists

Report an accident if any of the following occurs:

In Wisconsin
Injury and/or death,
Damage to state or government-owned property (excluding vehicles) to apparent extent of $200 or more,
Damage to property owned by any one person or to a state or government-owned vehicle to an apparent extent of $1,000 or more.
Failure to do so can result in the revocation or suspension of the licenses of those involved.

In Illinois
Injury and/or death,
Damage to the property of any one person to an apparent extent of $1,500.
Failure to do so within 10 days to the Illinois DOT can result in a $2,500 fine or up to a year in jail.

If you’re unsure if an accident applies to reporting regulations, contact the police department to be safe.

The nice weather should continue this weekend for Mother’s Day as well as into next week for Bike to Work Week. If you’re involved in a bicycle accident, whether as the cyclist or driver, contact the Milwaukee accident attorney offices of Hupy and Abraham Our experienced team will evaluate your case and assist you in every step that you choose to take. We’re here to help 24/7.