ALPENA – With bicyclists facing a higher risk of injury and death than occupants of motor vehicles, the Michigan State Police (MSP) is reminding bicyclists to take precautions when riding this spring and summer.
Each year close to 2,000 bicyclists are injured or killed in automobile-related crashes in Michigan.
Head injuries are the most common cause of death in bicycle crashes. Bicyclists should wear properly fitted bicycle helmets every time they ride because wearing a helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a crash.
Bicyclists are particularly vulnerable to accidents during the hours 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. due to decreasing light visibility. To be seen, bicyclists are encouraged to wear light-colored or reflective clothing and to equip their bicycle with a front light and rear reflector.
“Bicycling is a summertime tradition in Michigan, but when riding, bicyclists need to remember they are required to obey the same rules of the road as vehicle operators,” said Community Service Trooper Ashley Simpson. “Drivers of motor vehicles need to share the road with bicyclists – allow at least three feet clearance when passing a bicyclist on the road per Michigan law.”
To stay safe while riding:
• Wear a bicycle helmet properly. Helmets help prevent head injuries, the most common cause of death in bicycle crashes.
• Always obey traffic signals and traffic lights.
• Always ride with traffic on the right side of the road.
• When crossing a busy intersection, look both ways and walk your bicycle across the street.
• When riding beside parked cars, watch for any car door that could open suddenly.
• If you must ride at night, wear light-colored or reflective clothing and use a light on the front and a reflector on the back on your bike.