Bike Safety


For many members of the University community, bicycling is the preferred mode of travel around campus. The City of Ann Arbor is committed to making bicycling safe and easy – in 2010, it was even named the 14th most bike-friendly city in America. Do your part to stay safe when biking with these tips:

  • Ride with traffic, on the right side (unless you are making a left-hand turn). If you feel uncomfortable with the passable area for motorists, consider cycling closer to the center of the lane.
  • Ride in single file – riding two abreast can be dangerous.
  • Know and follow the rules of the road. Ann Arbor and Michigan laws classify bicycles as vehicles, so you must obey traffic rules. Come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs, and yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
  • Make safe turns and cross intersections with care. Signal turns half a block before the intersection and use the correct hand signals:
    • Left arm straight out for left turn
    • Forearm up for right turn
  • Ride at least 3 feet away from parked cars to avoid a crash if a car door opens in front of you.
  • Yield to pedestrians on the sidewalk – they have the right-of-way. Cyclists are often safer on the road than on the sidewalk because they are more visible to drivers; however, if you choose to ride in the pedestrian space, ride slowly, walk your bike on crowded sidewalks, and announce your presence with a proper audible warning, bell, horn, etc.
  • Be visible. Wear bright clothes and use reflectors/reflective tape on your bike or clothing. The City of Ann Arbor requires all cyclists to use headlights and rear reflectors after sunset.
  • Never hitch on cars. A sudden stop or turn could send you flying into the path of another vehicle
  • Wear a helmet. Head injuries cause about two-thirds of all bicycling fatalities. Helmets should fit securely and should be worn low and near the eyebrows (not back on the forehead).
  • Lock up your bike with a heavy-duty lock. The U-M Department of Public Safety recommends using a U-bar lock.
  • Record the identifying characteristics and serial number of your bike, and keep the information in a safe place. If you bike is stolen or vandalized, report it promptly to the Department of Public Safety.

Tips adapted from the National Safety Council  and the City of Ann Arbor.