How to safely ride a bicycle in traffic

Bicyclists in Tennessee should be aware of how to be safe and aware when riding in traffic to prevent accidents that may cause serious injuries.

Bicycling is a great alternative mode of transportation for people living in Tennessee. A bicycle produces no carbon emissions, and is a quick way to get from place to place. Those who spend time at this activity also know that it is a great way to exercise and stay fit. Unfortunately, bicyclists are highly exposed in comparison with those in cars, and are much more likely to sustain injury if caught in an automobile accident. That is why cyclists should be informed about road safety.

Bicycles count as vehicles

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration states that in 2013, the number of bicyclists who were injured and killed in traffic crashes increased from previous years. Despite the small size of bikes, cyclists need to be aware that they are riding vehicles that are subject to the same responsibilities, rights and laws as motorized vehicles. All vehicles on the road should be operated by responsible motorists who follow the rules. In addition, both cyclists and drivers of other vehicles should cultivate and maintain a mutual attitude of respect towards one another.

Bicycle safety tips

The League of American Bicyclists encourages everyone who rides a bike to be smart about the decisions they make. To help people know what to do, they have released what they call “Rules of the Road” in the following list:

  • The first thing everyone should do before taking a bike out on the road is to make sure it is mechanically sound. The quick release levers should be closed, the chains moving smoothly, the brakes in working order, and the tires inflated to the optimal pressure.
  • Every biker should always wear a helmet as an important precaution against brain injury in the event of an accident.
  • Scanning the road ahead for hazards such as potholes and debris may help a cyclist avoid a loss of control. Also, it is important to be aware of drivers on the road and anticipate what they are about to do.
  • By making eye contact with other riders and drivers, cyclists may be able to make sure they are noticed. If the bicycle is equipped with reflectors, a red rear light, and a white front light, it is easier for others to see in poor visibility conditions, such as twilight or after dark. Riders should choose bright clothes to catch attention and reflect light.

Traffic signals apply to bicyclists as well as motorists. Also like motorists, bicyclists should signal when they turn, and always check their blind spots. They must not ride against traffic, and should stay in the rightmost lane. They should also ride in straight lines and avoid swerving or weaving between other vehicles.

If a person in Knoxville has been injured in an accident while riding a bicycle, it may be prudent for them to pursue some form of compensation. To get advice in how to proceed, they should consult a lawyer in the area who is experienced with personal injury cases.