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Michigan Cycling Laws

10 Michigan Cycling Laws You Need to Know This Summer

July 8, 2019

With summer in full swing, it’s the ideal time to brush up on Michigan cycling laws. In general, bicyclists must obey the same traffic laws as motor vehicle drivers. And, just like those motorists, bicyclists who break the law are subject to tickets and fines. Here is what you should know to ride safely and legally throughout the cycling season.

10 Michigan Cycling Laws to Know

  1. Bicyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic, on the right half of the roadway. On one-way streets, cyclists may ride in the far left lane as long as they follow the traffic flow.
  2. Bicyclists are not permitted to ride more than two abreast. The only exception is when cyclists ride on a path or portion of the roadway exclusively designated for bicycles. However, safety experts recommend single-file riding whenever possible.
  3. Bicyclists may not ride on expressways.
  4. Bicyclists are prohibited from carrying more people than the bicycle is designed and equipped to accommodate.
  5. A cyclist may not grab onto or attach the bicycle to another moving vehicle while riding.   
  6. Cyclists are not allowed to carry any packages or items that prevent them from riding with both hands on the wheel. 
  7. Cyclists who ride between one-half hour past sunset and one-half hour before sunrise must have a white lamp on the front and a red reflector on the rear of the bicycle. In addition, wheel and pedal reflectors are recommended to enhance visibility.
  8. Bicyclists may ride at a lower speed than other vehicles as long as they ride lawfully and don’t otherwise impede the flow of traffic.
  9. Motorists passing bicyclists on the left must allow a three-foot distance between their vehicle and the bicycle. Drivers must allow the same three-foot distance on roads where passing on the right is allowed. Drivers may not use the shoulder of the road to pass bicyclists on the right. In addition, some municipalities have enacted five-foot passing ordinances; therefore, drivers should check local statutes.
  10. Before stopping or turning, bicyclists should check traffic conditions and then use the appropriate hand signals. They should signal clearly and allow enough time to warn motorists of their intentions.
    • Signal right turns with an extended right arm OR upturned left arm
    • Signal left turns with an extended left arm
    • Signal to stop or to slow down with an extended left arm facing straight down with the palm facing the rear

Other Bicycling Safety Tips

  • Michigan cycling law does not require riders to wear helmets. However, cyclists should always wear a properly fitted helmet to protect the head in case of an accident. 
  • When stopping to rest or in the event of an emergency, a cyclist should move the bike completely off the road.
  • When crossing railroad tracks, bicyclists should cross at a right angle to avoid catching the tires in the track.
  • Cyclists should avoid riding on sidewalks whenever possible. If you must ride on a sidewalk, watch carefully for inattentive motorists and walk your bicycle in crowded areas.
  • When riding at night, bicyclists should wear clothing and/or accessories that are brightly-colored, high-visibility and reflective.

Michigan cycling laws are complicated, but finding the right attorney is simple.

Call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free no-obligation consultation.