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Video Library - Bicyclists

Practice safety tips for bicyclists.

Traffic Laws

Drive your bike as you would any vehicle

In Michigan people on bikes are required to follow the same laws as other drivers.

Here are a few key principles that underpin all traffic laws:

First Come, First Served
Everyone on the road is entitled to the lane width they need. This includes the space behind, to each side and the space in front. If you want to use someone else’s space you must yield to whoever is using it.

Ride on the Right
Everyone must drive on the right-hand side of the roadway.

Yielding to Crossing Traffic

When you come to an intersection, if you don’t have the right of way, you must yield.

Yielding when Changing Lanes
If you want to change lanes, you must yield to traffic that is in your new lane of travel.

Speed Positioning
The slowest vehicles on the road should be the furthest to the right. Where you position yourself on the road depends on the location of any parked cars, your speed, and your destination. Always pass on the left.

Lane Positioning

Bikes can share the same lane with other drivers. If a lane is wide enough to share with another vehicle (about 14 feet), ride three feet or so to the right of traffic to avoid the gutter pan. If the lane is not wide enough to share, “take the lane” by riding in the middle.

Intersection Positioning

When there is a lane that is used for more than one direction, use the rightmost lane going in the direction you are traveling.

Follow all street signs, signals, and markings
Bicyclists are required to follow all traffic control devices, just as drivers do, including traffic lights and signs.

Source: League of American Bicyclists

Intersection Positioning

Drive your bike as you would any vehicle

Since most crashes happen at intersections, be sure to reduce your risk by being visible, positioning yourself clearly on the road, and making eye contact with other drivers.

When you are coming up to a multi-lane intersection, you will want to be in the right-most lane that is traveling in the direction you are going. Where you are within the lane depends on the intersection.

Source: League of American Bicyclists

Where Should I Ride?

This also applies to riding on trails. Stay to the right and allow room for those who are traveling faster than you to pass on your left.

The law states that people on bikes should ride as far right as practicable, but what exactly does that mean?

It does not mean that you have to ride in the gutter -- never ride there. If you’re on a road that is too narrow to share with another vehicle, you should be in the middle of the lane. You do not want to give motorists the opportunity to try to squeeze past you. When the lane is wide enough to share (around 14 feet), you should place yourself three feet away from traffic.

Source: League of American Bicyclists

Sidewalk Riding

Many crashes happen when someone on a bike is using the sidewalk

When you are riding on the sidewalk, you also have to deal with many hazards: pedestrians, street furniture, signs, newspaper boxes, etc… These items don’t just make riding inconvenient; they also can make you invisible to drivers.

Source: League of American Bicyclists





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.