There are three states in the US that have no official law enforcing helmet use: Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire. That means Chicago helmet laws don’t actually exist. However, a judge can find a motorcycle driver “negligent” for not wearing a helmet during a traffic accident. So even if the motorcycle collision or crash is not your fault, you may share part of the responsibility for your own injuries because you did not wear a helmet.
What’s interesting is that even though Chicago doesn’t have helmet laws, Illinois does have eye protection laws for motorcycle drivers and riders that states:
The operator of a motorcycle, motor driven cycle or moped and every passenger thereon shall be protected by glasses, goggles or a transparent shield.
The Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys strongly suggests wearing helmets. However, our team fully understands that they are not required and that it’s a choice each rider or passenger must make. To help you and the bikers in your family understand motorcycle helmet use in Chicago and why it can benefit you, our team offers this blog on Chicago helmet laws.
Helmet Use in Chicago
A 2017 study titled “Motorcycle Helmet Usage in Illinois” was released by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) following its June 2017 observation of motorcycles operating on roads throughout the state. The survey collected data between 7:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. These times ensured the light was adequate for observation. IDOT surveyed freeways, state and interstate highways, county roads, and a sample of residential streets.
Of the total 1,692 motorcycles/passengers observed, 35 were in Chicago and 63 were in Cook County.
According to the 2017 study, the city of Chicago had the highest helmet usage rate at 51.1 percent. Cook County had the second-highest helmet usage at 49.3 percent. However, The bad news is, despite our local government’s efforts, too many accidents involving cyclists still occur in Chicago. The 5-year average of bike fatalities in the city has remained at 6.2. This is closer to, but not close enough to the Vision Zero goal of removing all cycling deaths by 2026.
Motorcycle Helmet Use in Chicago: To Wear or Not to Wear?
In Chicago, people who ride bicycles, scooters, or motorcycles for work are the only ones that have to wear protective headgear by law.
It can be said to be circular logic, but no-helmet proponents insist that if wearing a helmet is mandatory, it will lower the number of cycle riders in Chicago. If there are fewer bikers on the road, vehicle drivers will not see them often enough and lose their ability to easily see them on roadways. These people believe that bike riders will be at greater risk for accidents and injuries.
Another common argument is that requiring helmets makes bicycling a “specialized” activity rather than a common means of transportation. No-helmet proponents believe that if the state enacts a helmet law, fewer children will ride their bikes to school as a result because they simply don’t want to wear a helmet.
Our Chicago Motorcycle Attorneys’ Stance on Chicago Helmet Laws
As personal injury professionals, our team doesn’t want you or your loved ones to suffer physical injuries or emotional trauma–especially not as a result of any kind of traffic accident. In this regard, if you believe a helmet is the safer way to operate a motorcycle or bicycle, we encourage you to wear one. We will also support your right to not wear a helmet as long as it continues to remain consistent with Illinois law.
In a Wreck? Need a Check?™
With or without Chicago helmet laws, one fact remains true: It takes time and money to recover from a bike accident. Personal injuries and motorcycle repair can be expensive. At Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys, you will find knowledgeable professionals who bring experience, skill, and passion to your case. Consultations are free and there are no fees unless we win your case.
In addition to representing injury victims in Chicago for decades, our lawyers have helped people in Aurora, Joliet, Elgin, Naperville, Peoria, Waukegan, and beyond. If you’ve been in a motorcycle wreck then call us at 708-222-2222 or speak with one of our LiveChat representatives. Our team is available 24/7 to assist you. With more than 30 years of experience winning injury victims across America billions of dollars and a reputation for incredible customer service, you can be sure that Lerner and Rowe is the way to go.