Keep bicyclists safe on roadways

In 2022, 36 bicyclists were killed and 1,030 injured on Michigan roads

As warmer weather returns across the region, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) is working to educate the public and raise awareness about the ongoing issue of bicycle-related injuries and fatalities on our roadways.

May is National Bicycle Safety Month. It’s an important time of year to spread the message of safety as Michigan enters the busy spring season when more drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians will be out enjoying the outdoors.

Crash data shows an alarming rise in the number of bicyclist-related fatalities on Michigan roadways over the last three years. From 2020 to 2022, 103 bicyclists were killed in Michigan, an increase of 64 percent over the previous three-year period.

Each year from 2017 to 2019, 21 people were killed in bicyclist-involved crashes across the state, for a total of 63 fatalities. From 2020 to 2022, there were 38, 29 and 36 bicyclist-involved deaths, respectively, for a total of 103 fatalities.

Katie Bower, OHSP director, said raising awareness is vital as bicyclists remain some of Michigan’s most vulnerable roadway users.

“We continue to see a rise in bicycle-involved crashes in many communities across the state,” Bower said. “Traffic safety is a shared responsibility. During National Bicycle Safety Month, the OHSP and our traffic safety partners will be working to educate residents about the importance of bicycle safety and the traffic laws designed to protect bicyclists. Motorists and bicyclists can avoid crashes if they know and follow the rules of the road and watch out for each other.”

In 2022, the peak hour for bicycle-involved crashes was from 4-4:59 p.m., and the peak hours for bicycle fatalities was from 8-8:59 p.m., and 10-10:59 p.m.

To help keep everyone safe, drivers and bicyclists are encouraged to follow these safety tips:

Bicyclists should:

≤ Ride with traffic and obey traffic signals, signs and markings.

≤ Use hand signals when turning or stopping.

≤ When dark, a white light on the front and rear red reflector are required.

≤ Be visible: wear appropriate high visibility safety gear, including a helmet.

≤ Watch for turning traffic.

Drivers should:

≤ Give at least 3-feet when passing bicyclists.

≤ Obey traffic signals, signs and markings.

≤ Yield to bicyclists as you would motorists.

≤ Stay alert and take extra caution at intersections, especially when making turns.


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