In the last few years, Memphis has introduced new bike lanes to benefit a growing population of cyclists; but now comes the hard part: getting used to sharing the road.

Even day care children are learning the rules with the help of city representatives – rules like hand signals for turning, cycling with the traffic, and using safety lights.

Unfortunately, not every cyclist obeys the rules; and not every driver pays attention. Some cyclists will run red lights or swerve between lanes when they shouldn’t. Their behavior upsets and disorients drivers, and makes the roads less safe.

At the same time, drivers can get frustrated with cyclists, even when cyclists ride their bikes safely.

For example, when a bicycle stops in traffic without a bike lane, the safest location for the cyclist is directly behind the driver of the car in front of him. That way the driver in front will see the cyclist through the rear-view mirror, and the car behind the cyclist won’t miss him. However this takes up a whole lane, which can anger drivers who want to get where they’re going quickly.

This tension between drivers and cyclists is nothing new; but it increases as the number of bicycles in the city continues to climb.

Logically, the largest and most dangerous vehicle should always be the most cautious. Cars can kill much more easily than bicycles, which means drivers should be abundantly careful at all times; but when they don’t use caution, or when cyclists use the road dangerously, accidents can happen.

It’s important to remember that cyclists have all the same rights on the road as any other vehicle. Unfortunately, the system doesn’t always serve them well, especially as Memphians still gets used to sharing the road: law enforcement and insurance companies will sometimes blame cyclists for crashes they didn’t cause.

If you’re injured by a car while on your bike, it’s important to remember your rights and contact a personal injury attorney who can help. Our attorneys launch an investigation and help you get compensation for your injuries.

Contact us today or call us at 901-327-1212 to discuss your situation for free.

(Photo by Sanja Gjenero)