Nashville has seen a substantial amount of growth over the past five years. With this increase in population, traffic and parking have become a problem in our community.
One solution to this problem is to forgo driving your motor vehicle and hop on a bike instead. Some areas, near Belmont and Music Row, for instance, have bike lanes where drivers and bike riders can more safely share the road.
Other streets, such as Gallatin Road and Main Street in East Nashville, have very narrow shoulders and no bike lanes.
In both types of areas, it’s critical that bike riders and motorists are aware of one another and of traffic laws in order to share the road effectively.
I came across an article in The Tennessean recently, in which a man was hit by an SUV while riding his bicycle in Berry Hill. The man was hit at the intersection of Franklin Pike and Berry Road.
The bike rider survived the crash but suffered a major injury to his arm.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, more than 50 percent of fatal and injury crashes occur at intersections. The intersection, near the Champion Car Wash, where the man was hit, is frequently very populated.
Drivers coming from the restaurants and shopping centers of One Hundred Oaks and people leaving the historic Berry Hill area meet at this intersection, which is home to a potentially dangerous overpass. This overpass could limit a driver’s line of sight depending on which way the driver is headed.
It is so important in a potentially dangerous intersection that drivers are aware of bike riders and vice versa.
Safety Tips for Bicycle Riders in Nashville
With bicycling increasing in popularity as a mode of transportation for locals and with tourists renting bicycles from the Nashville B-cycle, we all must observe the rules of the road to ensure the safety of all parties involved.
To prevent further accidents from occurring between motorists and bike riders, we put together this list of bicycle safety tips with information from the FHA, National Safety Council, and Tennessee Dept. of Transportation:
- Bicycle riders must ride on the right-hand side of the road with the same direction as traffic.
- In Tennessee, a bicycle has the legal status of a vehicle. This means that bike riders have full rights and responsibilities on the roadway and are subject to the regulations governing the operation of a motor vehicle.
- Don’t text and bike.
- Bicycle riders should use hand signals to communicate their intention to make a turn a half-block before the turn.
- Bike riders should dismount and walk their bikes across the road when crossing intersections during heavy traffic.
- Bicycle riders should ensure that they are visible to drivers. Bicycle riders should wear light colored clothing in the evening or dark clothing with reflective strips.
- In Tennessee, bicycles should be equipped with a front white light visible from 500 feet and either a red reflector or a lamp emitting a red light, which shall be visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the rear.
- All bike riders under 16 years of age must wear a helmet on any highway, street or sidewalk.
What to Do in Case of an Accident
“If you get hit by a car or truck while riding a bike, it is imperative that you wait for the police to arrive on the scene. You may be tempted to negotiate with the driver of the car, but you should avoid doing this.
Your focus at the time of an accident should be your own health – you should seek medical attention immediately after talking to the authorities. Your adrenaline after the accident could cause you to underestimate the severity of your injuries.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a motor vehicle in Nashville while riding your bicycle, personal injury attorney David Weissman will ensure you get the justice you deserve.