Last month, a 58-year-old man from Charlotte, Tennessee, was killed while riding his bicycle on scenic Natchez Trace Parkway in Maury County.
According to FOX17.com, the victim was riding north on the Parkway circa mile marker 418 when he was hit by a 1965 Ford Falcon. He suffered serious injuries to his head and legs and was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he passed away as a result of his injuries.
The victim was at least the second bicyclist struck on Natchez Trace Parkway in Tennessee this year. In July, a driver was arrested after hitting a bicyclist and fleeing the scene, according to the National Park Service (NPS), which noted that the offender was charged with reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to immediately notify of accident, and failure to render aid.
National Park Service Safety Guidelines
Accidents like these are a reminder of the importance of adhering to the safety guidelines issued by the NPS. In particular, the Park Service advises bicyclists to:
- Follow the same rules of the road as motorists
- Ride single file and on the right (with traffic)
- Used hand signals to advise motorists of your intentions
- Wear brightly colored, high visibility clothing and a properly fitted helmet
- Carry identification and emergency medical information
Most notably, as a designated bicycle route, bicyclists on Natchez Trace Parkway “may use the entire lane when necessary [though] the Parkway encourages bicyclists to ride as far to the right as practicable unless … it is unsafe to do so, the bicyclist is passing another bicyclist or pedestrian, or the bicyclist is preparing for a left-hand turn.”
As one might expect, the NPS has issued safety guidelines for motorists as well. The guidelines encourage drivers to “treat cyclists with the same courtesy as you would another vehicle [and] to give cyclists at least 3 feet of space when you pass.”
The NPS also advises motorists to avoid blowing their horn (which can startle a bicyclist and cause an accident), and highlights the fact that “harassing a cyclist in any way is illegal. The Parkway is designed for leisurely travel, so slow down and enjoy the view until you can safely pass.”
That’s a sentiment echoed by the above-named victim’s older brother, who, in an interview with Fox17, encouraged motorists to share the road and be respectful, especially when driving on Natchez Trace Parkway.
“Please be patient. Please be respectful. Please let everybody enjoy this place and go home to their friends and families safely,” he said.
Tennessee Bicycle Accident Crash Data
As we know, though, motorists don’t always peacefully coexist with bicyclists, and car vs. bicycle accidents are often deadly.
There were 359 pedal cyclists injured in accidents in Tennessee in 2016, with nine of them suffering fatal injuries, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security.
More specifically, there were 69 cyclists injured in Davidson County (home to Raybin & Weissman), the second-most of any county in the state. Only Shelby County, with 84 injured bicyclists, had more.
The statistics for 2017 are equally sobering. Through 9/30/17, there were six fatalities and 303 injuries in Tennessee, with 59 of those injuries occurring in Davidson County. In fact, we wrote about one of those injury accidents earlier this year, a hit-and-run bicycle accident in which the victim was left for dead near Centennial Park.
What to do if You Are In A Bicycle Accident
In the interests of promoting safety, we encourage you to review the tips offered in our recent post highlighting a Berry Hill bike crash involving an SUV.
And, if you have the misfortune of being involved in a bicycle accident we encourage you to heed the following advice:
- Try to get and write down the license plate of the car. Unfortunately, many of these accidents are hit-and-runs.
- Wait for police to arrive on the scene and talk to the authorities.
- Seek medical attention, keeping in mind that the burst of adrenaline you experience could cause you to underestimate your injuries.
- Consult with an attorney.
If you or a loved one believe you have a bicycle accident case, we encourage you to contact us or call us at 615-256-6666 for a free, no obligation consultation. We will fight to get you justice.