Is Kentucky Safe For Cyclists?

While Washington is one of America’s most bicycle-friendly states, Kentucky is ranked 43rd out of 50 states. Kentucky, which at one point ranked at the 33rd position, dropped to 43rd in the 2017 list by the League of American Bicyclists. Biking is one of the fastest growing activities in Kentucky, yet its low ranking indicates that Kentucky is getting worse in being a bike-friendly state. In 2012, seven out of 746 state-wide fatalities involved bicyclists. Kentucky can do better!

Related: Louisville’s Bike-Sharing Program To Roll Out Soon

Can Kentucky Become More Bike-Friendly?
Kentucky is at risk of falling farther down to the very bottom of the list unless the state improves its bicycle policies and strengthens its legislation and enforcement. However, cyclists also need to do their part. While cyclists have the right to ride on Kentucky roads, they have to obey all the traffic and road rules. Bicycles may not have a motor, but they are still considered a vehicle.

Kentucky Biking Tips
As Kentucky welcomes Spring, it also means cyclists are back on their bikes. Thousands of Kentuckians ride their bikes for fun and function. What better way to get on the road than riding your bicycle safely? Here are some safety tips that all bicyclists need to keep in mind this biking season:

Before Riding:

  • Make sure that your bike is in good condition.
  • Don't ride a bike if you are under the influence of alcohol.
  • Wear bright colored clothing during the day and light colored clothing at night.
  • Know the rules for riding on sidewalks.

While on the Road:

  • Maintain control of your bicycle.
  • Ride predictably in a straight line.
  • Operate a bicycle within posted speed limits.
  • Don’t swerve in the road or between parked cars.
  • Always ride in the same direction as traffic. Do not go against it.
  • Be alert for other vehicles at intersections. Make eye contact with motorists before proceeding through.
  • Obey all traffic rules and devices, such as stopping at every stop sign and red light.
  • Use a white front light and a red rear light in low light conditions.
  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Use hand signals to inform other drivers of what you are about to do, like making a turn, coming to a stop, etc.

Related: Riding A Bike Under The Influence Of Alcohol Is Illegal

As a Louisville, KY Bicycle Accident Attorney, I have seen how a bicycle accident can affect someone's life first-hand. I encourage cyclists to follow these safety tips to avoid any incidents. This includes whether you bike to school, work, or to save money. Kentucky can do better for cyclists and it needs to be brought to their attention until they fix the problem.

 

Michael Schafer
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The Personal Injury Attorney for Louisville and Kentucky
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