In order to make it safer and easier for cyclists to share the road with cars, many areas have implemented special bike lanes that cyclists can use. These are generally just thin lanes running along the right-hand side of the road.
Do they really help? What are the pros and cons?
Many experts do believe that they help on multiple levels. For instance, they make cyclists feel confident and they give cyclists a buffer zone between them and traffic lanes. They also ensure that cyclists stay on the road itself, rather than trying to ride up on the nearest sidewalk.
Studies have looked at other countries that tend to see more cycling than the United States, and they have found that bike lanes are very common. At the same time, injury and death rates are lower. This suggests that the bike lanes work because they keep people safe even when more people ride their bikes.
All that said, some do not think bike lanes offer much of an advantage. There is still a serious risk of crashing when moving through an intersection, and bike lanes mostly stop cars from rear-ending bicycles. These accidents, experts claim, are already not that common.
However, most people agree that bike lanes, while not perfect, do help. They can reduce the odds of a serious crash. They can keep cyclists safe.
They do not mean that cyclists will never get in accidents, though, especially when those in cars do not understand or respect these bike lanes. Cyclists who get injured need to know all of their legal options to seek out compensation.