As the Michigan Department of Transportation works to promote May as National Bike Month and May 13-17 as Bike to Work Week, MDOT is reminding bicyclists and motorists to be safe – and look out for one another on the roads.
MDOT says there were 1,970 reported crashes involving bicyclists in Michigan in 2012, resulting in 1,598 injuries and 20 fatalities. In fact, fatal crashes involving bicyclists remains disproportionately high compared to other crash types.
MDOT says that while the number of fatalities is down 17 percent (there were 24 fatalities in 2011), fatal crashes involving bicyclists remains disproportionately high compared to other roadway users or crash types.
“While this data suggests some improvement, drivers must remain focused at all times when they get behind the wheel and share the road,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “These crashes are avoidable. Drivers should always be alert and pass slower moving traffic, including bicyclists, from a safe distance.”
Friday, May 17, is designated as Bike to Work Day.
“We join other transportation agencies to raise awareness and promote our safety message: ‘Give ’em Space, Make it Safe, Please Share the Road,'” said Steudle.
Motorists are cautioned to pay close attention when driving near bicyclists and pedestrians as the warmer spring months lure people outdoors. Michigan has a growing number of bike lanes and thousands of miles of shared-use pathways that bicyclists can use and enjoy. For maps and other important information, including “What Every Michigan Driver Should Know About Bike Lanes,” check out www.michigan.gov/mdot-biking.distance.