Tennessee's bicycling safety practices and the law

As some cities in Tennessee continue to see major population booms, bicyclists from near and far are drawn to the state's pristine valleys and majestic mountain views. Cycling is certainly a healthy choice of exercise, as well as a cheaper option than driving to work or school. Yet does the congestion of city traffic and placing trust in distracted drivers make this choice in exercise a safe one? 

State law protects cyclists from potential dangers on any public road; nevertheless, bike enthusiasts from all over the nation deal with road risks from negligent drivers. The Tennessee Highway Safety Office provides an accessible brochure containing the state's bicycling and pedestrian safety laws, noting that, above all else, bicycles are vehicles. Therefore, motorists should always use caution when driving to allow cyclists the space they need. When passing, state law requires drivers to maintain a 3-foot distance between themselves and the cyclist. The THSO also urges drivers to refrain from honking, moving abruptly and to always check blind spots carefully. 

With all of the views Tennessee has to offer, it is hardly suprising that countless bicyclists choose its winding roads for exercise and adventure. Bicycling Magazine shares a list of the country's safest cities for bicycling, first naming Bellingham, Washington and Burlington, Vermont. Although Tennessee did not make the list, Bicycling adds that many of these top cities are continually working toward making their roads safer for cyclists. Some hold classes on bicycling safety and training, while others maintain strong bicycling communities that raise awareness on the issue. Bicycling accidents may be inevitable from time to time, but cyclists' rights are equal to those of motorists when it is time to hit the road.   


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