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How to Be a Safer Driver around Cyclists

In the United States, nearly 1000 people on bikes are killed each year in crashes involving vehicles.

The acceptable number of roadway deaths is zero. In 2021, Knoxville City Council unanimously resolved to endorse a Vision Zero goal to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries on Knoxville’s streets. 

Here’s what you can do as a motorist on or around campus to make Knoxville a safer place for everyone on the roadway.

1.) Be aware.

  • Maintain awareness of all cyclists around you on the roadways and drive with caution
  • Patiently wait to pass a cyclist until traffic allows, maintaining at least three feet of space between them and your vehicle at all times

2.) Know the rules of the road.

Cyclists in traffic have all the rights and obligations of motorists

  • signal turns (using hand signals)
  • ride in the direction of traffic
  • obey all traffic signals and signs

3.) Practice safe skills.

  • When parallel parking your car on the street, reach for the door handle with the opposite hand
  • Per Tennessee law, maintain at least THREE FEET between your vehicle and cyclists
  • Decrease speed and use heightened caution when driving near cyclists
  • When turning right across a bike lane, double check your blind spot BEFORE crossing the lane

Creating a more bike friendly university and Knoxville community starts with creating bike safe roadways!