Bicycling is a great form of exercise, and the primary means of transportation for many Michigan residents. However, when bikers take to the road, they must be aware of dangers posed by vehicles. Although motorists and bicyclists can safely share the road, far too many Michigan cyclists have lost their lives in crashes. According to the 2011 Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, 1,895 bicycles were involved in motor vehicle crashes that year, with 24 bicyclists killed and 1,479 injured. More bicyclists within the 45-54 age group died than any other age group, with 11 killed (46 percent of the total). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nationwide in 2010, 618 bicyclists were killed and 52,000 were injured in traffic accidents. According to an article in USA Today, bikers across the country are helping to raise the awareness of dangers that bicyclists face by placing bikes that have been painted white at the accident sites. These “ghost bike” memorials serve “as remembrances of the dead and reminders of the struggle to share the road.” At least one website has been established to track the memorials that have been erected globally to honor those fatally injured in bicycle crashes. Ghostbikes.org reports there are currently more than 500 ghost bikes in more than 180 locations throughout the world. Five ghost bikes have been installed in Michigan, with the first one in Detroit in honor of a biker who died in an accident in 2008. Other Michigan cities with ghost bikes are Canton, Midland, Orion, and Ann Arbor. According to Ghostbikes.org:
Ghost Bikes are small and somber memorials for bicyclists who are killed or hit on the street. A bicycle is painted all white and locked to a street sign near the crash site, accompanied by a small plaque. They serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise anonymous street corner, and as quiet statements in support of cyclists' right to safe travel.
The first ghost bikes were created in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2003. Currently there are over 500 ghost bikes that have since appeared in over 180 locations throughout the world. For those who create and install the memorials, the death of a fellow bicyclist hits home. We all travel the same unsafe streets and face the same risks; it could just as easily be any one of us. Each time we say we hope to never have to do it again -- but we remain committed to making these memorials as long as they are needed.
Safety Advice for Bicyclists Our Michigan car accident attorneys urge all drivers to do their part to keep cyclists safe on Michigan roadways. We also ask bikers to follow the rules of the road and to wear proper safety equipment at all times. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests the following "seven smart routes to bicycle safety" for bicyclists to follow to avoid accidents:
- Protect Your Head. Wear a Helmet.
- Assure Bicycle Readiness. Ensure Proper Size and Function of Bicycle.
- Ride Wisely. Learn and Follow the Rules of the Road.
- Be Predictable. Act Like a Driver of a Vehicle.
- Be Visible. See and Be Seen at All Times.
- “Drive” with Care. Share the Road.
- Stay Focused. Stay Alert.
Contact a Michigan Auto Accident Attorney The Michigan auto accident lawyers at The Michigan Injury Lawyers will stand up for you if you have suffered a personal injury because of someone else’s careless driving. We have represented many Michigan residents injured in automobile accidents, and we understand how disruptive injuries from a serious wreck can be to you and your family. Call the Michigan personal injury attorneys at The Michigan Injury Lawyers at 866-325-0502, or contact us online for a free evaluation of your case. If there is no recovery in your case, there is no fee for our services.