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Share the Road Tips

 

In Tennessee and Georgia, a bicycle has the legal status of a vehicle. This means that bicyclists have full rights and responsibilities on the roadway and must follow the general traffic laws that apply to car drivers. Below are some tips that will help you to share the road with pedestrians, motor vehicles, and fellow cyclists:

  • Ride with traffic.  Motorists do not expect bicyclists to be riding against traffic and may not see them there. A bicyclist who is riding with traffic will have difficulty avoiding a collision with a bicyclist who is riding against traffic.
  • Ride predictably: Ride is a straight line. Don’t weave in and out of parked cars, sidewalks, and parking lanes.
  • Be seen: Use a white front light and a red rear light and bright/light-colored clothing and reflective materials.
  • Use arm signals: Indicate your intention to turn, merge, and stop.
  • Avoid the right hook: When traveling straight through an intersection, watch for cars turning right. Position yourself closer to the center of the right lane if you are sharing the lane with automobiles.
  • Avoid the left hook: Watch for cars approaching from the opposite direction, turning left across your path, when traveling straight through an intersection.
  • To turn left at an intersection:
    • Look over your shoulder and scan for traffic, signal and change lanes when traffic is clear, and move into the right most lane from which you can legally turn, or
    • Do a two-stage left turn. Ride to the far side of the intersection, then wait to cross until the signal changes.
  • Avoid the door zone: Ride at least 3 feet away from parked cars. Watch for drivers in parked cars who might open their doors without looking.
  • Avoid collisions with buses: Never pass a bus on the right. If a bus stops, either wait behind it or merge with traffic and pass on the left. Stay at least 3 feet behind the bus.
  • Leave the sidewalks for the pedestrians: Ride on the road, not on the sidewalk. Motorists coming out of driveways and turning do not expect to see cyclists on sidewalks and sidewalks are typically too narrow for cyclists and pedestrians to pass each other comfortably.
  • Yield to pedestrians: At marked and unmarked crosswalks, yield and allow pedestrians to cross the street.
  • Give an audible signal: When passing a pedestrian on an off-street path, ring your bell or say “on your left” before passing to the left of the pedestrian.
For state laws concerning bicyclists and more biking tips, check out TN Bike Laws or GA Bike Laws.

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