Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan campus are wonderful places to jog or walk. However, it’s important as a pedestrian to be vigilant and pay attention to your surroundings—especially at night or whenever you’re jogging or walking alone. The following guidelines can help you stay safe:
- Look before stepping into the road. Even when a light turns green or the walk sign appears, cars could still pass. Look out for cars backing out of driveways.
- Let vehicles pass. Some might not have enough time to stop for you.
- Don't cross when the “Don't Walk” signal is already flashing. If it begins flashing while you're crossing, continue to cross.
- Always cross streets at crosswalks when they are available. If there isn’t a crosswalk, cross at a well-lit place where drivers can clearly see you.
- Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
- Keep alert at all times. Do not be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes off the road. When listening to something, make sure the sound is at an appropriate level to limit any distractions from the road.
- Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017, 5,977 pedestrians died in traffic crashes, 783 bicyclists were killed in collisions with vehicles, and 3,166 people were killed by distracted driving.
Safe driving protects your life and the lives of everyone on the road. This is especially true in a state like Michigan, where the weather can make driving more dangerous. The following guidelines can help keep you safe:
- Assume the pedestrian doesn’t see you. Always be prepared to yield to pedestrians when they’re in a crosswalk and be extra cautious when backing up.
- Don’t use anything that distracts you. Taking your eyes, ears or mind off the road, even for a split second, can lead to an accident.
- Be cautious of pedestrians, especially in bad weather. In these conditions, it's more difficult to see pedestrians, and in the case of bad weather, pedestrians may not follow safety rules as they should.
- Double the predicted amount of space between you and the car in front of you. When you are driving in hazardous conditions, braking takes longer on slippery roads so allow yourself more room.
- Follow the speed limit. Drivers should be especially strict about following the speed limit when in neighborhoods and school zones.
- Stay out of bike lanes. Bike lanes are for bikes only. It is illegal for cars to drive or park in them.
Motorcyclists & Bicyclists
Ann Arbor was named by the League of American Bicyclists as a silver-level “Bicycle Friendly City” in 2009, 2013 and 2017. Why? Because we strive as a community to make biking a convenient and safe mode of transportation for everyone involved: cyclists, drivers and pedestrians. This is only possible when all parties abide by the following rules of the road:
- Give yourself space from parked cars to avoid risking a crash if a car door opens in front of you.
- Don't wear headphones. Wearing headphones blocks out the sound of traffic, lowering your awareness of your surroundings.
- Learn the proper hand signals. Hand signals are important to communicate with others.
- Stay out of blind spots. Large vehicles have huge blind spots, making it difficult for drivers to see the environment around them.
- Prepare for wide turns. If a large vehicle is about to turn right, never ride between the vehicle and the curb.
- Ride with the flow of traffic. If the sidewalk ends, you will already be riding with the flow of traffic.
- Be visible. The City of Ann Arbor requires that all cyclists use headlights and rear reflectors after sunset.
- Follow traffic signals. Just like a car, obey street signs, signals and road markings.