With Spring now in full bloom, cyclists throughout South Carolina have begun to hit the roadways, enjoying the crisp weather and numerous bike trails across the state. While cycling can be an enjoyable form of recreation, exercise, and commuting, it is also undoubtedly a dangerous hobby. As riders turn the corner into Spring and get back on their bikes, many are reminded of the serious tension between bicyclists and motorists.
With roadways seeing more riders these days, it didn't take long before lawmakers heard complaints from local residents and old debates were re-ignited. One Greenville County Councilman told GreenvilleOnline that many local citizens have stepped forward to express their struggles with cyclists on narrow mountain roads. According to the councilman, incidents between cyclists and motorists can become incredibly tense.
Amid the rising tension, another Greenville representative – Wendy Nanney – proposed a bicycle bill that aimed to regulate cyclists and moped operators. After backlash from the cycling community, the bill was dropped.
A Necessary Conversation
The need for making public roadways safer for everyone is a discussion we need to have. South Carolina continues to record some of the highest rates of cyclist deaths per capita in the country. Without intervention, the problem will only become worse, especially as more people take up cycling. Upstate South Carolina already plays host to a thriving cycling community, due in part to new trails and the city's efforts to make roadways safer and more accommodating for riders.
Courtesy on the Road
Although tension is never a good thing on the road, motorists and riders may have some legitimate gripes. Many cyclists state that drivers don't give them space, don't safely share the road, or are otherwise hostile. Numerous drivers say cyclists disregard traffic laws, ride too far into traffic lanes, and slow the flow of traffic on busy streets and narrow roads.
The most important things that riders and cyclists can remember is that both have responsibilities to safely share the road, and that pointing fingers is not a way to make South Carolina roadways safer places. Education and awareness are surely needed, but perhaps one of the most important things to remember is that a little courtesy from both sides can go a long way in reducing the risk of preventable bicycle accidents.
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, our South Carolina personal injury lawyers have seen just how tragic traffic accidents involving bicyclists can be. Knowing that bicyclists are extremely vulnerable when on the road, we hope that all drivers throughout the state remember to drive safely when near cyclists. For more information about bicycle accidents, the rights of injured riders, and how our firm can help, call 888-612-7001 for a free consultation.