Are bicyclists safe in tennessee?

Various cities across the country have taken pride in their increasing bicycle friendliness. Denver and Austin are among some of the top-rated places in the U.S. to ride a bike, but cities in Tennessee have yet to make that list. While hot places on the map such as Nashville will likely reach a more bike-friendly status in the future, it is important for cyclists to know the possible risks and safety factors sooner than later. 

A piece from Forbes shares some of these top cities to ride a bicycle, and lauds them for their safety practices. Drawing its data from cities with populations over 500,000, Forbes shows that the most bike-friendly city is Philadelphia. Closely following were Tucson, Arizona and Portland, Oregon. The source for the data also considered a number of qualities among bicyclists to reach their conclusion:

  • The education of riders
  • Engineering of bike infrastructure
  • Enforcement of traffic laws 
  • Encouragement of riders 
  • Planning and evaluation for bicycling

Forbes points out, however, that at one time, Philadelphia ranked as one of the lowest in the nation for cyclist safety. Changes to bike infrastructure could partially be to thank for this safety boost.

A WKRN News report from last July shows that some areas in Tennessee may have a long way to go when it comes to bicyclist safety. The popular Natchez Trace Parkway is a beloved spot for cyclists of all skills levels, and roads in the area have long set aside full lanes for cyclists to use. Yet despite this extra space, one cyclist experienced the worst when he was struck by an SUV. The accident was a hit and run, but the cyclist managed to record the entire incident on his GoPro device. The driver of the SUV faces charges for reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to notify authorities of the incident and failure to address the scene whatsoever. While some areas may have much work left in regards to instilling strict safety measures for roads, knowing potential risks and ideal safety methods can help protect bicyclists on any city's turf.   



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