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Drivers

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Resources for drivers on sharing the road safely with bicyclists.



Share the Road PSA by Dickinson County Bike Path



A public service announcement by the Dickinson County Bike Path which is airing at the local movie theater, Thomas Theatre Group in Iron Mountain, MI, before each show.


Source: Dickinson County Bike Path


What Every Driver Must Know, Share the Road - Be Courteous!

What-Every-Driver-Must-KnowChapter 9 of What Every Driver Must Know, published by the Department of State, focuses on sharing the road with pedestrians, emergency vehicles, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, mopeds, segway scooters (electric personal assistance mobility devices), school buses, and bicyclists. In 2012, the League of Michigan Bicyclists collaborated with the Secretary of State's office to update the bicycling subsection of this chapter to give drivers and drivers education instructors more comprehensive instruction on how to safely share the road with bicyclists.

Below are the exceprts (as of 10/29/13 - visit DOS's website to check for additional updates) of the subsection focused on sharing the road with bicycles.

What Every Driver Must Know,
Chapter 9: Share the Road - Be Courteous!

Bicycling is a form of transportation that many people choose to use for both economic and health benefits. Bicyclists may legally ride on Michigan roads, except limited access freeways, and have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Respect the right-of-way and share the road with bicyclists. They are vulnerable. Both bicyclists and drivers need to share responsibility for avoiding conflicts and communicate intentions while using the roadway.

Tips for Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

  • Be courteous to bicyclists and share the road safely with them.
  • Do not follow bicycles closely. They can stop and maneuver quickly. Be prepared for a bicyclist to swerve to avoid a road hazard.
  • When parking your vehicle, check your mirrors before opening your door. Opening a vehicle door in the path of a bicyclist is dangerous and illegal.

When passing a bicyclist:

  • If there is oncoming traffic, slow down and wait to pass when traffic clears.
  • Do not attempt to "squeeze by." Leave sufficient space between you and the bicyclist – at least 3 feet is recommended between your side mirror and the bicyclist.
  • Allow more space, at least 5 feet is recommended, for higher speed roads or if a group of bicyclists is present.
  • When driving a larger vehicle, leave extra room to accommodate for extended wheel wells, mirrors or other equipment that can interfere with a bicyclist.
  • Check carefully for bicyclists in your blind spots by glancing over your shoulder and using your rear and side view mirrors, use your turn signals and allow adequate room to pass.
  • Return to the lane when the bicyclist can clearly be seen in the rearview mirror.
  • A fast moving vehicle creates a lot of airflow and draft around it. Be mindful that your vehicle's "wind blast" can startle or even knock a bicyclist off balance, increasing the risks of a crash.
  • Avoid blasting the horn, as loud noises can surprise the bicyclist and may cause a crash.

When turning and at intersections:

  • Watch for oncoming bicyclists and other small vehicles. Their smaller size can make it difficult to judge their distance and speed.
  • At intersections, treat bicyclists the same as any other vehicle, yield as appropriate especially when they are turning left in front on you.
  • Before turning right at an intersection, into a driveway, or pulling off the road, check for bicyclists coming up from behind on the shoulder of the road or in a bicycle lane. As appropriate, yield and allow them to pass before turning. Do not overtake a bicyclist and turn right unless it is safe to do so.
  • Obey all lane markings. Do not use a bicycle lane as a passing or turning lane.

Tips for Bicyclists

Tips for Safe Bicycling:

  • Always ride in the same direction as other traffic. Never ride against the flow of traffic.
  • Obey all traffic laws, including traffic signs, traffic signals and lane markings.
  • When riding on the road, stay as far to the right as practical.
  • Ride predictably in a straight line of travel.
  • Ride defensively and assume that other drivers do not see you.
  • Wear a bicycle safety helmet and light colored or reflective clothing.
  • Use the appropriate hand signals when turning, slowing or stopping.
  • When entering a roundabout, ride in the center of the lane, traveling at or near the speed of circulating traffic. Bicyclists may also walk their bicycles through the intersection using the roundabout's pedestrian crosswalks.
  • If riding at night, a front white headlight and rear red reflector are required by law.

For more information, please refer to What Every Michigan Bicyclist Must Know and What Every Young Michigan Bicyclist Must Know published by the League of Michigan Bicyclists.

Distracted Driving

Info about Kelsey's Law, texting ban, and other information here.

Common Collisions and How to Avoid Them

How bicyclists and drivers share the road determines how safe everyone on the road is – including passengers and pedestrians.  Here’s a review of what drivers and cyclists need to know in common driving situations (FYI: we will post more in depth information soon about avoiding common crash scenarios).

 

Turning Right

Drivers:
Check the curb lane and check over your right shoulder so you do not cut off any cyclists.

Cyclist:
Watch for vehicles that may not see you and turn wide at intersections.

 

Turning Left

Drivers:
Look ahead for oncoming vehicle or cyclists. Check the crosswalk for pedestrians.

Cyclists:
Watch for vehicles that may be about to turn left.

 

Passing

Drivers:
Change lanes to pass. Do not pass too close to cyclists. They need 3 feet on either side as a safety zone.

Cyclists:
Watch passing vehicles and be prepared to slow down or stop if necessary.

 

Opening Car Doors

Drivers:
Before opening the car door, check your mirror and over your shoulder for cyclists and pedestrians.

Cyclists:
Watch for people in parked vehicle who may open the door as you are passing.

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Share MI Roads is a campaign developed by the League of Michigan Bicyclists in collaboration with a diverse network of partners.
Share MI Roads is supported through funding by Transportation For Michigan, individual donors, and sponsors.