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Video Library - Bicyclists

Practice safety tips for bicyclists.


Bike Helmets

Wearing a bike helmet improperly is the same as not wearing a bike helmet at all

Fitting a Helmet:

  • Place it on your head without fastening the straps
  • There should be a two-fingers width between your eyebrows and helmet
  • There should be little movement when you shake your head from side to side
  • You will want to start out with the smallest size– you may have to try on different sizes and brands of helmets until you find one that fits

Adjusting Your Helmet:

  • The side straps should come to a point just below your ears forming a "Y" shape
  • When your mouth is closed, there should be about half an inch between the chin strap and your chin

Source: League of American Bicyclists

Signaling Turns

You should always let others know when you are turning, changing lanes or stopping

Communicating your intensions not only makes your ride safer, but it is also required by law in Michigan.

 

Left Turn: Fully extend your left arm out to the side
Right Turn: Bend your left arm up at a right angle with your hand flat (note: signaling right turns with your right hand is not yet legal in Michigan, but legisaltion is pending to change this)
Slowing or Stopping: Extend your left arm out at a right angle with your hand open

 

Source: League of American Bicyclists

Lane Changing

 Be visable, Look, Signal

Changing lanes in traffic can be challenging. Here’s how you can change lanes with confidence:

  • Plan ahead, anticipate where you are going to need to be on the road
  • Look behind you, possibly several times
  • Signal where you are going
  • Act carefully, smoothly and deliberately

Source: League of American Bicyclists

Scanning

Scanning is simply the act of looking over your shoulder


Scanning successfully is a key part of riding anywhere—it’s an easy and safe way to communicate your intentions to others and it also shows you what is happening behind you.

 

At first, it can be difficult to scan and maintain a straight line. A tip that may keep you from pulling the bike is to remove the hand, from the direction you are scanning, from the handlebars.

 

Source: League of American Bicyclists

Bike Lanes

A bike lane is a striped and signed lane that provides a dedicated space on the road for people on bikes. They should be used the same as any other travel lane, so follow the same rules of the road.

Things to look out for:

  • Parked cars.  Be sure you ride far enough over to stay clear of an opening car door
  • Vehicles that are turning right without a signal

The Michigan Vehicle Code does not require bicyclists to ride in bike lanes even if they are present. In addition, local communities cannot supersede state law requiring such.

There are many reasons when bicyclists would not want to ride in a bike lane, such as:

  • Making a left turn
  • Passing another bicyclist
  • Going around potholes, debris, and other hazards 


As with any other lane changes, be sure to first scan, signal and yield.

How Should Motorists and Bicyclists Operate when on a Roadway with a Bicycle Lane?
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. The Uniform Traffic Code prohibits parking in a marked bicycle lane, except where permitted by official signs.


How do Motorists Make Right Turns when a Bicycle Lane is Present?

  1. When turning right, a motorist should always yield to bicyclists going straight. Never pass a bicyclist and then “hook” them by making a turn immediately in front of them.
  2. Once the bicyclist passes through the intersection, the motorist should then begin their right turn.
  3. Only after the bicyclist clears the intersection or driveway should the motorist complete their turn.

Sources: League of American Bicyclists, Michigan Department of Transportation - What Every Michigan Driver Should Know About Bicycle Lanes

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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.