A sizable percentage of the population in many big cities lives without a vehicle, and the trend is making its way south in cities like Nashville as residents learn how to cope with long commutes and heavy traffic.
WKRN.com reports that Walk Bike Nashville’s “Walk Bike University” course has nearly doubled in participation from 2015 when 250 people took the class to 2016 when 485 people participated.
A spokesperson for the group says that more and more people are choosing to ride bicycles to get around town, whether they’re going to work or running errands, such as buying groceries.
The Walk Bike University class teaches participants the best way to make the transition to a car-less lifestyle and how to safely ride around town.
However, the group’s spokesperson says that many would-be riders are hesitant to hop on their bikes and take off around the city because they don’t feel safe.
She went on to say that many major thoroughfares are difficult for bicyclists to navigate. Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has pledged $35 for bicycle lanes and sidewalks.
Tips for Staying Safe when Bicycling around Town
Whether you’re riding your own bicycle or renting a bicycle from one of the many kiosks located in Nashville, getting around the city on two wheels is a great way to exercise and enjoy the outdoors. But it also comes with dangers, especially if you’re not accustomed to riding in heavy traffic or around other vehicles.
To decrease your risks of being involved in an accident when you’re riding a bike on city streets and roads, do your best to follow these tips:
- Wear a helmet
Unlike drivers and passengers in vehicles, you don’t have any protection in the event of an accident. However, you can increase your safety by wearing a high-quality helmet that fits you properly. Wear it on every trip, and if you’re ever involved in an accident and your helmet sustains damage, replace it immediately.
- Use reflectors and wear bright clothing to make yourself more visible
One of the biggest threats that bicyclists face is when drivers can’t see them. Most drivers are accustomed to looking out for only other vehicles—not bicycles. That means they may be unaware of your presence, even if you’re riding next to them. Wearing bright and reflective clothing and equipping reflectors on your bicycle can make you stand out to drivers.
- Use bike lanes and ride with the flow of traffic
When bike lanes are available, you should always use them, as they’re designed to keep bicyclists safely away from the flow of vehicle traffic. And when you’re using a bike lane, make sure you’re traveling in the same direction as other vehicles.
- Obey all traffic laws
When it comes to bike safety, picture yourself on a two-wheel motor-less vehicle instead of a bicycle. That can make it easier to remember that you must always follow all traffic laws, including stopping at stop signs and red lights, yielding when necessary, and avoiding traveling the wrong way down one-way streets.
- Keep your bike well-maintained
A loose seat, worn-out brakes, or slick tires can range from annoyances to potential accident risks on bicycles. Make sure your bike is well-maintained and that any problems, such as squealing brakes, loose seat posts, and damaged tires are repaired or replaced immediately.
The Nashville bicycle accident lawyers at Matt Hardin Law appreciate the city’s efforts to make bicyclists safer. Bicycling, walking, and taking public transportation are great ways to reduce traffic, but it’s important to remember that methods of getting around town come with their own unique risks. Being aware of those risks and taking the right steps to reduce them can help you stay safe this summer and beyond.
If you or someone you know was hurt in a bicycle accident, our legal team is here to speak with you. We’ll investigate the accident and determine if it was caused by someone else’s negligence, and then we’ll work hard to get you maximum compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. Get in touch with us today by dialing (615) 200-1111 or completing a free online consultation form.