Study reveals causes of crashes involving bicyclists, motorists

Published 9:14 am Thursday, March 24, 2016

This week’s article will continue with bicycle and motorcycle safety.

A recent study conducted by Western Michigan University and the Office of Highway Safety Planning, reviewed crash reports involving motorists and bicyclists or pedestrians from 2010-2014.

Disregarding traffic control or failing to yield caused 58 percent of car versus bicycle crashes. Overtaking either by the motorist or the cyclist was the risk behavior that caused 27 percent of the crashes, and loss of control by either was involved in 6 percent of the crashes.

In 2013 alone, there were 2,392 pedestrians involved in 2,248 motor vehicle crashes, with 149 (6.25 percent) killed and 1,941 (81.1 percent) injured. Also, 27 out of 1,902 bicyclists involved in motor vehicle crashes in Michigan were killed and 1,479 bicyclist injuries were reported to police agencies

Motorists and bicyclists need to be aware of traffic signs and lights and clear blind spots before making a maneuver.

We need all citizens to stay safe.

Bicycles need to be equipped with the proper equipment when traveling on the roads.

MVC 257.662, Bicycle,…; equipment; violation as civil infraction states “(1) A bicycle,… being operated on a roadway between 1/2 hour after sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise shall be equipped with a lamp on the front that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear that shall be visible from all distances from 100 feet to 600 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector.

(2) A bicycle shall be equipped with a brake that enables the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

(6) A person who violates subsection (1) or (2) is responsible for a civil infraction.

Please watch future articles for more on motorcycle safety. There is a new campaign and information coming soon.


Rob Herbstreith is a community service trooper with the Michigan State Police Niles post. Questions or comments can be emailed to