Motorists and bicyclists need to respect each other
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages all road users, including motorists and bicyclists, to respect each other and foster a safer transportation environment. Bicycles on the roadway have the same rights, and responsibilities as motorized vehicles.
Michigan law requires motorists to give bicyclists at least 3 feet of space when passing. Some Michigan municipalities have enacted ordinances requiring motorists to give bicyclists 5 feet of space when passing. These ordinances supersede the state law. In these jurisdictions, motorists are required to increase the amount of space given to bicyclists.
– Ride with traffic and follow the rules of the road.
– Use hand signals when turning or stopping.
– Obey traffic signals, signs, and markings.
– When dark, a white light on the front and rear red reflector are required.
– Ride on the trail, paved shoulder, bike lane, or bike route.
– Be visible: wear appropriate high visibility safety gear, including a helmet.
– Watch for debris that might make you fall or swerve.
– Watch for turning traffic.
– Ride no more than two abreast.
– Give at least 3-feet when passing bicyclists. (See above for stricter local ordinances)
– Obey traffic signals, signs and markings.
– Yield to bicyclists as you would motorists and do not underestimate their speed. This will help avoid turning in front of a bicyclist traveling on the road or sidewalk, often at an intersection or driveway.
– Avoid distractions.
– Obey the posted speed limit.
– Stay alert and take extra caution at intersections, especially when making turns.
– In parking lots, at stop signs, when backing up, or when parking, search your surroundings for other vehicles, including bicyclists.
– To avoid “dooring” a bicyclist, never open a car door without first checking for passing traffic. One example of checking for traffic is the “Dutch Reach.” This method involves the driver of a vehicle using their right hand to open their door, not their left hand. This naturally puts the driver in position to check both in front and behind for approaching traffic.