As a cyclist, you have the same rights as other road users. There is no reason for a person behind the wheel of a vehicle to pass too closely to you or to act as if you have no place on the road. Dangerous behaviors like those could put your life at risk.

You know that the way you respond to dangers like those and the way you follow the law can directly impact whether or not you make it home safely. What can you do to stay safer on the roads in Tennessee? Here are a few tips.

  • Follow the rules of the road

Tennessee has a number of specific bicycle-related laws. These laws state that you need to ride on the right-hand side of the road and move with the flow of traffic. You need to obey traffic signals the same way that other drivers do. If you plan to turn, you must use the appropriate hand signals to do so. Additionally, you should have a front white light and red reflector or lamp on the rear of your bicycle. Both need to be able to be seen from 500 feet or more.

  • Wear a helmet

Tennessee law only requires those 16 or younger to wear a helmet when riding, but it’s a good idea to do so no matter how old you are. If you wreck, you’ll be more protected against head injuries.

  • Ride when traffic volume is lower

Finally, ride when there is less traffic if you have the option. Avoid rush-hour traffic, take back roads or neighborhood lanes and choose to ride after sunrise and before sunset, so drivers have a better chance of seeing you. If you can expose yourself to fewer vehicles, you’ll be in less danger when you ride.

Riding with these tips in mind can keep you safe. Enjoy your ride, and remember to keep an eye on traffic.