Taking a few safety precautions can make sharing the road safer for bicyclists and motorists, experts say.
"Bicyclists are involved in less than 1 percent of all traffic crashes," according to the Michigan Department of Transportation. "Proportionally, they represent a greater number of fatalities than any other group of roadway users. This is why it is especially important for drivers to pass bicyclists at a safe distance and to always yield to them before making turns."
MDOT, the Michigan League of Bicyclists and Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson urge bicyclists and motorists to mind the following safety guidelines.
- Bicyclists are reminded to follow the rules of the road and obey all traffic control devices, including signals and stop signs. ... Bicyclists have all the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers and can be ticketed for violating traffic laws.
- Wear bicycle helmets and reflective clothing.
- When (bike lanes) are not present, position yourself as if you were a car by riding in the right wheel track of motorized traffic.
- Use hand signals to indicate stops and turns (to) other users.
- When riding two abreast, be mindful of the other roadway users and single up when it is safe for others to pass. You may never ride more than two abreast.
- A person shall not operate a vehicle on or across a bicycle lane, except to enter or leave adjacent property. This means that drivers are to make turns from the travel lane and not the bicycle lane.
- Stop fully before turning at driveways and intersections to make sure you do not cut off pedestrians or approaching bicyclists with right of way.
- Don't drive distracted - No texting!
- Do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks, as they may be allowing a pedestrian (or bicyclist) to cross the street.
- When passing, leave four feet between you and a cyclist.
[What advice do you have for cyclists and drivers who share the road? Leave a comment!]