The nicer weather means more people are out and about trying to enjoy it. From motorcyclists to bicyclists, people are itching to get their vitamin D. For those of us who decide to take alternative means of transportation, we need to be careful. Riding a bike may seem like a great way to save on gas and money, but it can be dangerous.
Bicyclists are more at risk than we may think. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) more than 8,000 bicyclists died and over 700,000 were injured by a motor vehicle in 2017. This means bicyclists are at risk. In recent years, cities like Los Angeles have been slowly but surely adding more bicycle lanes in an effort to lower that number. Plenty of major metropolitans in Tennessee also have bike paths. When bicyclists and motorists share the road, it can be dangerous to ride a bicycle. Whenever it is a motorist versus a bicyclist in an accident, the motorist will almost always come out alive.
According to Tennessee Highway Patrol, bicyclists are at fault 60% of the time in accidents involving injuries or fatalities of bicyclists. This indicates that bicyclist aren’t always aware of their surrounding or the rules of the road. As fun as it is to ride a bike, if you don’t know how to properly operate a bicycle on the streets you may need to take a course on it.
Bike riders have different rules depending on what city they ride in. The most important rule when riding a bicycle is safety. Wearing a DOT-approved helmet can increase a rider’s chances of surviving an accident. Helmets should be worn at all times. If someone is under the age of 18, they are required by law to wear a helmet.
Going green and using less fuel is usually one of the top reasons to ride a bike instead of driving. The next most common reason is to get more exercise and stay active. Whatever your reason may be for riding a bike, it is important to know the odds are against you if you ride unprotected and uneducated. It’s important to take the time and read your cities laws regarding cycling.