Warmer weather brings out more bicyclists on our Atlanta roadways and it's important that they learn to claim the lane. Bicycles aren't allowed on sidewalks, so therefore they must ride on the road, however, many tend to stick to the far right. As a cyclist, you have a right to the lane as long as you are following the correct Georgia Bicycle Laws.
When a cyclist rides on the far right of the road, cars will almost always try to squeeze by. When you claim the lane, they are forced to slow down and wait for an opportunity to pass you. Essentially, this gives you a lesser chance of getting hit.
When you ride your bicycle on the far right, you are often outside of another driver's field of vision. By claiming the lane, you are more likely to be seen.
The debris covering the sides of roads can pose as a huge obstacle for a bicyclist. Trash, loose gravel, pieces of glass, etc. can slash your tires, fly up and hit you, and often cause a dangerous accident. Additionally, there are sewer grates and uneven shoulders that can throw you off course. By claiming the lane you can avoid all of these obstacles.
When a cyclist claims the lane, their ride instantly becomes more enjoyable. You aren't having to focus on possible obstacles on the road and can actually focus on a smooth ride.
Make A Statement
In some areas, bicycles have not gained the respect that they want. Often times, they are seen as an annoyance and people do not view them as vehicles. In reality, bicycles are legally considered vehicles and have the same rights and responsibilities as another driver. By claiming the lane, you make a statement that cyclists belong on the road and have all the same rights as cars.
Overall, we encourage cyclists to claim the lane for their safety. For more bicycle safety tips, read here.