Bike lanes and shared lanes are popping up all around Michigan. Big cities are installing bike-share kiosks and encouraging residents to ride more often to improve their health and relieve traffic congestion. As more bicyclists hit the roads, drivers need to know how to share the road safely.
Give Bikes Space
Any road bike, whether it be a motorcycle or pedal-powered, is smaller and more maneuverable than your car. But their small size also means they sometimes have to dodge what your car can just roll over. Be ready to react. Don’t follow bicycles closely, and when you pass leave at least 3 to 5 feet between your side mirror and the bicyclist.
Watch Out for Bikes at Intersections
Because bikes are small they can be easily missed at intersections. Especially when turning, make sure to check your blind spots and give the right of way to bikes crossing the intersection or turning in front of you. If you are turning in to a driveway in front of a bicycle, make sure to use your signal and turn slowly to give the bicyclist time to react.
Respect Bike Lanes
Bike lanes do not double as turning lanes. They are spaces dedicated to bike safety. If you have to turn right and there is a bike lane beside you, treat it just like another traffic lane. Check your blind spots, cross the lane and complete your turn. Do not pull into the bike lane to park, pass, or turn.
Watch for Bike Hand Signals
Most bicycles don’t have blinkers. Instead, riders will hold out a hand to indicate a stop or turn. A lowered left hand is the bike equivalent of brake lights. An outstretched left hand means the bicyclist is about to turn left. Either a raised left hand or an outstretched right hand mean the bike will be turning right. When you see the signal, give space and let the bike complete the turn.
Bicyclists are involved 1% of traffic accidents, but a disproportionate amount of those are fatal. Save a life by sharing the road and watching out for bike safety. If you or someone you know has been involved in a bike accident, contact the personal injury experts at Christensen Law. They can help you collect no-fault personal injury benefits and get you back on your feet.