How bikes and cars can safely share roads

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – A bicyclist has died after getting struck by a vehicle, just as more bikes and cars hit the roads for the summer.

We’re learning more about the man who was killed while riding his bike on Memorial Day in Jackson County.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has identified the victim as David Watson, a 65-year-old from Washtenaw County.

Deputies say Watson was riding his bicycle near the fog line on Grass Lake Road near Fishville Road when a 23-year-old woman in a SUV hit him from behind.

They say drugs and alcohol do not appear to be factors.

Watson was not wearing a helmet.

This crash happened as cyclists and drivers hit the roads for this summer season.

6 News talked with a bike shop in Jackson about what you need to know about staying safe on the road, whether you’re in a car or on a bike.

At the bike shop in Jackson, they’re been putting more people on two wheels.

“We are seeing more and more people use bicycling for commuting. It’s a better way to get around town,” said Patrick Sowle, Shop Manager of On Two Wheels.

Sowle says they’re mindful that cyclists have to share the road with drivers, so they advise them on the rules.

He says bikers need to go the same direction as vehicle traffic and follow all traffic rules.

When there’s not a dedicated bike lane, Sowle says stay near the white fog line.

“It’s to the left of the white line. We don’t want to ride down the shoulder. A lot of times that has broken glass and rocks and things that can give us tire punctures,” Sowle said.

Cyclists are allowed by law to ride side-by-side and take up the whole lane.

However, Sowle says biking in a straight line might be better when there’s vehicle traffic.

To keep yourself safe on the roads, the shops recommends reflective clothing, helmets, and blinking lights that can be seen day or night.

When it comes to drivers, Sowle says slow down, and when you pass a cyclist give them space just like you would a vehicle.

“It doesn’t take that long slow down, pause, pass us safely,” Sowle said.

Sowle says it’s up to both drivers and cyclists to make the roads safer.

“Cyclists need to make sure that if we want to have the respect of a motorist that we’re giving them the same respect by following the rules of the road,” Sowle said.

Follow this link for more bike safety information from the League of Michigan Bicyclists:

The deadly bike crash has been forwarded to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office for review and possible charges.

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