Michigan Bicycle Riding Laws and Accident Injuries
Michigan is a bike-friendly state. Cycling has become more and more popular as communities in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor add more dedicated bike lanes. In Detroit alone, the city just added 19 miles to its 145-mile-long protected bike lane. As the state borders open up post-pandemic, more Michigan residents are riding outdoors to commute to work or enjoy healthy exercise after the prolonged winter quarantine.
Responsibility of Cyclists On The Road
When sharing the road with four-wheel vehicles, cyclists must observe the following protocols to avoid accidents.
- Stay alert
- Avoid distraction
- Do not ride drunk or intoxicated
- Ride alongside the direction of traffic
- Yield when required
- Wear complete protective gear including reflective clothing and an appropriate helmet
- Equip your bike with the reflective lighting
- Avoid weaving in and out of traffic
- Ride away from the curb and sidewalks
- Stay within bike lanes
Michigan traffic rules for motorists also apply to cyclists, including guidelines for roundabouts and intersections.
Always wear protective gear, stay alert, and know how to act quickly in case of a crash. If you are involved in a road accident and the other driver flees the scene, contact law enforcement immediately.
Responsibility of Motorists on The Road
Motorists must also observe safety rules when sharing the road with cyclists. Bike accidents often happen in intersections, at parking lot entrances, and when bicyclists are coming from behind a vehicle.
The most common reasons why motorists and cyclists get involved in accidents are:
- Failure to yield to a bicycle
- Driving too close
- Turning immediately in front of a bicycle
- Opening a vehicle door along a bicycle path
- Running a red light
- Driving while distracted (texting)
- Driving while intoxicated or impaired
- Blasting a horn
- Harassing cyclists
If you are a motorist, it can be terrifying to hit a bicycle. But fleeing the scene will only make the situation worse. If you try to flee, the accident will be considered a hit and run, which carries severe penalties.
Even if you thought you weren’t caught, witnesses will be able to provide details about your vehicle to the police and you will eventually be found. Thus, the best thing to do after a road accident is to call for immediate medical help for the injured cyclist.
What Is The 3-Feet Rule?
According to MCL Section 257.657, there must be a minimum driving distance of 3 feet between cyclists and motorists. This was set into law to protect cyclists from quick turns, collisions with a side view or car door, or the wind pushing the bike over.
Motorists should still observe the proper speed limit even with the 3-feet rule. If a car is speeding, the driver might not have ample time to react to an approaching bicycle.
Remember that speed limits are imposed for a reason – to support your reaction time to hazardous situations and provide safer control.
When To Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
When cars and bicycles collide, motorists are often found at fault if they are speeding, driving distracted, or driving too close. These poor driving decisions are highly likely to result in side-swiping or read-ending a bicycle. And due to their sheer size difference, the bicycle is always at the worst end.
Personal injury attorneys are always called to bike accidents that result in:
- Traumatic brain damage
- Shoulder dislocations
- Dog bites
- Neck, spine, and back injuries
- Muscle-related injuries
- Broken arms, hips, and legs
- Bone fractures
- Internal injuries
When it comes to bike safety, wearing a helmet remains the most critical measure for any cyclist to protect themselves from severe injury against negligent and careless motorists. Moreover, consulting with a Michigan accident lawyer is the best chance for financial recovery in the event that you get hit by a car while riding your bike.
Know Your Rights. Ask a Michigan Lawyer Today.
Most bicycle accidents are caused by the negligence of other motorists and not the biker. Riders on two wheels tend to be more careful when sharing the road with four-wheel vehicles.
The problem is the lack of independent witnesses to debunk the story given by the car or truck vehicle driver to the police. In most cases, the officer on the scene puts the blame on the biker who is often too injured to give their own account of the accident.
If you are injured or have lost a loved one to a car crash involving a bicycle, schedule a free consultation with our experienced attorneys at The Clark Law Office today. We have represented accident victims for decades and have helped their families claim rightful compensation, including medical bills and property damage. Text us at (517) 347 6900 for inquiries.