Most Dangerous Intersections For Cyclists In Detroit, Mi
Bicycling is a fun and healthy form of transportation. It is low-impact and great for building stamina and strength. People of all ages can enjoy riding a bike. It’s also an economical, environmentally friendly way of traveling to work, school and other places around Detroit.
However, riding a bike around the city comes with risks. According to Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, 118 crashes involving bicycles happened in 2021. Sadly, 29 people in the state died in a bicycle crash that same year.
Riding on city streets poses a different set of dangers than riding on a dedicated trail. Keep in mind these common biking hazards as you ride around Detroit.
Open Car Doors
People are used to looking for cars before opening a door. However, they might not be looking for bicycles. You take up less space than a car and aren’t nearly as visible. Many bicycle riders have accidents with people who open a car door in front of them.
Drivers paying more attention to their phones, the radio, or something else are hazardous to anyone. This fact is especially true for bicyclists. You are more vulnerable to injury than you would be in a car, and if a driver fails to see you, it could lead to a serious accident.
Precipitation can cause hazardous traveling for bikes. Detroit averages 33 inches of snow annually and some form of precipitation 125 days a year. Rain, ice, sleet and snow cause slippery roads. You can lose control of your bike on a slick street.
Many road hazards are especially dangerous for bicyclists:
- Loose gravel
- Poorly maintained railroad tracks
- Litter in the street
- Construction zones
- Blocked bike paths
Keep an eye out for unsafe road conditions while riding in Detroit.
Other Cyclists, Pedestrians and Scooter Riders
If you’re riding in a bike lane, you’re probably sharing it with other cyclists, scooter riders, and people on foot. Not everyone is careful, and if they’re unaware of your presence, it can cause an accident.
Intersections pose a particular hazard for bike riders. It can be challenging for a driver to see an oncoming bicycle. Some drivers don’t think of looking for bikes before they cross. It is essential to ride defensively, especially at an intersection.
Dangerous Detroit Intersections for Bicyclists
Detroit Greenways has a crash incidents map. It shows locations of recent pedestrian and bicycle/vehicle accidents. Among the most accident-prone intersections are:
- Griswold Street at Fort Street West
- Griswold Street at Michigan Avenue
- Fort Street West at Michigan Avenue
- Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at Second Avenue
- Greenfield Road at West Chicago Street
- Mack Avenue at John R Street
- Mack Avenue at Brady Avenue
- Woodward Avenue at Putnam Street
- Saint Antoine Street at East Warren Avenue
- East 7 Mile Road at Gratiot Avenue
- East 7 Mile Road at Hayes Street
- East Jefferson Avenue at Parker Street
- East Jefferson Avenue at Van Dyke Street
- Gratiot Avenue at Seymour Street
- Gratiot Avenue at East 8 Mile Road
While this is not a comprehensive list, it shows that Detroit has many accident “hot spots.” Some of these intersections have experienced more than 1,000 crashes since 2008.
Staying Safe on Detroit Roads
You can’t control what drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists do. However, you can take precautions to make your bike ride as safe as possible.
Obey Michigan Bicycle Laws
Use hand signals to indicate stops and turns, and always ride with traffic, not against it. Follow the rules of the road and obey traffic signs and signals.
You must have a white light on the front of your bike and a red reflector on the back when riding after dark.
If riding with other cyclists, ride no more than two abreast.
Wear Bright, Reflective Clothing
Make sure drivers can see you by wearing bright clothing and reflective patches. Gloves with reflectors, safety vests and bright helmets are all good choices.
Watch for Hazards
Keep an eye out for gravel, debris, bumps in the road or other hazards that may cause you to slip. During the winter, avoid patches of snow and ice if possible.
Watch for Turning Vehicles
Drivers might not see you to the right and may attempt to turn in front of you at an intersection. They may also fail to see you when entering an intersection. Assume drivers do not notice you and approach with caution.
Passenger vehicles must share the road with bicyclists. Drivers must obey the laws that pertain to driving near bicycles.
Leaving a Buffer
Drivers must leave a 3-foot buffer zone around bicycles when passing or driving behind them. Some Michigan cities have stricter ordinances.
Yielding to Cyclists
Drivers must treat bicycles like passenger cars, yielding to them at intersections when necessary. Drivers are expected not to underestimate a bicycle’s speed and try to turn in front of them.
Looking Before Opening a Door
Drivers exiting vehicles need to look for all traffic before opening a door, including bicycles. Open doors can be quite dangerous for bicyclists.
Drivers in passenger vehicles should focus on driving and be aware of their surroundings. They should use extra caution at intersections and check for bicycles before turning.
Obeying the Rules of the Road
Drivers must follow the speed limit, obey traffic signs and use turn signals.
Checking Before Backing Out
Before exiting a parking space, drivers should check all around the vehicle for traffic, including bicycles.
What To Do After an Accident
A bicycling accident can change your life quickly. One minute you are riding around Detroit on your bike, and the next, you are in a crash. You may wonder what to do first.
Get to Safety
Before you do anything else, get out of harm’s way. Call emergency services from a safe location. While you may be tempted to move your bicycle, leaving it at the scene can help preserve evidence.
Call for Help
Call for emergency personnel. If you can’t do it yourself, find someone who can.
Wait for Police To Arrive
Work with the police to file an accident report. It details the accident and includes witness names.
Seek Medical Attention
You might not realize you have injuries until later. It is a good idea to see a doctor who can evaluate you and tell you what to expect in the future.
Don’t give any statements to the insurance company or the other party until you speak to a lawyer.
Call Mike Morse Law Firm After a Bicycle Accident
When you call Mike Morse Law Firm, you have a team of experienced researchers and legal professionals on your side. We understand a bicycle accident can feel overwhelming.
When you call us, we step in to investigate the details of your accident and determine the next steps. You can focus on healing and getting on with your life.
Michigan Is a No-Fault State
Michigan law requires drivers to have a no-fault insurance policy. It pays personal insurance protection benefits for people hurt in an accident, whether as pedestrians, cyclists or passengers. Talk to a team member if you have questions about Michigan’s no-fault law.
Call our office or fill out our contact form today to see how we can help.