Lane-splitting and other laws for motorcyclists to follow

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2017 | blog

A motorcycle can be one of the most exciting ways to get to where you are going. However, operating these vehicles also poses special risks.

Illinois has numerous laws on the books to protect motorcyclists. All riders should follow them all exactly to remain safe and prevent a dangerous car accident

Lane splitting

Lane splitting is the act of a motorcyclist driving between two vehicles on a freeway. While some believe this has some benefits, namely reducing congestion, it is illegal in every state except California. Illinois Vehicle Code 11-703 makes it illegal for a motorcyclist to pass other cars by driving between vehicles. This means drivers on Illinois roads usually do not expect to see motorcyclists zipping past, and riders who break this law may be putting themselves at an increased likelihood of a collision.


While some states make it mandatory for motorcyclists or other bikers to wear helmets, Illinois does not. However, while it may not be illegal to ride without a helmet, it is highly recommended for the number of safety measures it provides.

In the event that motorcyclists do wear helmets, it is legal for them to have helmet speakers in the device. However, these speakers must only function as communication devices. Riders cannot listen to music through these speakers while on a motorcycle. 


To ride a motorcycle in Illinois, riders must have a bike that has the handlebars positioned below head height while the person is sitting. Additionally, riders must keep one hand on the handlebars at all times while the vehicle is in motion. 


It is against the law in Illinois for drivers to modify their vehicles so that the muffler is louder than the factory component. This law applies to all vehicles, not just motorcycles. Another popular modification in some parts of the state is to remove the muffler completely. This is also against the law and is highly ill-advised. A muffler is a critical component for limiting the amount of harmful fumes the motorcycle emits.