Bicycling can serve many purposes: recreation, a way to save money, and can even be beneficial to the environment. Whatever the reason, riders should be aware of the rules and expectations that come with being on the road. Laws regarding bicyclists vary from state to state, and knowing Michigan state law can help protect bicyclists and drivers who share a road.
Biking In The Streets
Bicyclists riding at a normal speed of traffic are expected to ride as close as possible to the right-hand curb or edge of the road, under Michigan law. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule:
- When passing another bicycle or a vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
- When preparing to turn left.
- When conditions make the right hand edge of the roadway unsafe for the rider.
Biking on Sidewalks
Bikes may be ridden on the sidewalks in Michigan, but riders must remember to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and are required to give some type of audible signal to let them know they are going to be passed.
How to Signal A Turn
When riding a bike, cyclists are required to signal with their arms. By doing so, they can ensure that drivers know that they are about to turn.
- A left turn by extending their arm horizontally.
- A right turn by extending their left arm vertically.
- A stop or decrease in speed by extending their arm downward.
- Signal 100 feet - 200 feet before you are about to turn, so that drivers are aware of your intended action and have adequate time to react appropriately.
Safely Parking Your Bike
Bike theft has become a huge problem for riders. In fact, according to City Lab, over half of all active cyclists have had their bike stolen. Most occurrences take place in heavy populated places downtown area of a city where the act of stealing a bike blends in with the crowd. It is important to always lock your bike to a secure, visible location, which makes it tough for a thief to pick up and walk away with your bike.
While only 1% of all transportation in the United States is via a bicycle, the frequency of bicycle-related accidents is alarming. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 900 bicyclists were killed in the United States in 2013 with an additional 494,000 emergency room visits due to bicycling-related injuries. While riding a bike with a helmet is not currently required under Michigan law, bicyclists are highly encouraged to take the necessary safety precaution to prevent potential head injuries.
If you or somebody you know has been injured by a car while riding a bicycle, call The Michigan Law Firm PLLC. Car drivers have a tendency to neglect bicyclists' right of way. Don't let automobiles bully you. Our attorneys are experienced in handling bicycle-related collisions, and will get you the help you need. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.