For decades, bike culture has dominated Europe, creating public incentive for bike lanes and other initiatives to promote cycling. The Tour de France and other international events shed light on the public benefits of biking. Throughout the U.S., cities are investing in shared bike programs and many have urban planners who accommodate cyclists. This means changes in law, creation of bike lanes, and other incentive programs that favor bike culture.
Biking has a significant number of public health benefits. In addition to being a healthy alternative to commutes sitting in a vehicle, cyclists are reducing traffic and cutting down on air pollution. Despite the positive benefits of cycling, many motorists find cyclists reckless, menacing, and have difficulty sharing the road. This summer, both cyclists and motorists have to be aware and follow the law to prevent accidents and injuries. Our Carolina injury attorneys are dedicated to promoting road safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
Many drivers see cyclists as a threat to road safety. Where drivers are forced to follow the law, some cyclists believe they are above it–running stop lights, red lights, speeding, or cutting through traffic. In some accidents, reckless cyclists have caused death to other pedestrians and cyclists sharing the road.
Nationwide, cities are changing infrastructure to accommodate an increasing number of cyclists. For many, this is a positive change, shifting the way that commuters get to work, students get to school, and how Carolina residents spend their weekends. You should not be surprised to see an increasing number of bike shops and other commercial endeavors tailored to meet the needs of a growing population of bike enthusiasts. Both public and private entities are working to promote bike use as well as keep drivers and cyclists mindful of road safety.
Even with public awareness initiatives and campaigns, many motorists can become frustrated or outraged by the behavior of some cyclists. There are even a growing number of opposition groups that see cyclists as rude and ignorant of local road laws. This can create additional danger for motorists as well as other cyclists and pedestrians. Bike rides “en masse” can cause severe traffic congestion and prevent motorists from using the roads.
Some bike culture advocates claim that the world is trending towards cycling and that motorists need to adjust and get used to it. A shift towards bike culture means that motorists will have to slow down, reduce distracted driving, yield to cyclists and take additional precautions when on the road. It also may mean increased traffic for motorists as cities designate “bike only” lanes on many already congested streets.
Cities have already spent millions creating shared bike programs, adjusting roadways, installing bike racks, and creating public awareness campaigns to promote shared roads. The deaths of cyclists nationwide have prompted lawmakers to ensure that motorists remain aware that they are a serious threat to bikers. Tension on both sides–cyclists and opposing motorists–means that drivers and bikers should remain attentive, mindful, and follow the law to avoid accidents.
If the United States is becoming more heavily dependent on cycling for transportation, bikers and motorists must be wary of changes in infrastructure and law to stay safe. Motorists should consider that bikers are here to stay, and cyclists should be respectful to establish a mutual trust with motorists when sharing the road.