Bike lanes can be very beneficial for cyclists, often helping to reduce the number of accidents that occur. In many areas, though, a bike lane simply consists of a small lane on the side of the road, separated by a line of white paint. While this technically is supposed to be a safe space for the cyclist to ride, it’s easy for vehicles to cross this line and many accidents still occur.
This is why it is better to have protected bike lanes. These help to keep traffic away from cyclists and are more effective at keeping them safe. Below are a few examples of different types of protected bike lanes.
Posts and bollards
In many cases, the bike lanes will be separated from the road by plastic posts or bollards. These are tall enough that drivers can see them next to the car, so they pay far more attention to them than they would to painted lines. Drivers are also much less likely to drift over the line accidentally.
In some cases, the protected bike lane will be a raised lane that is higher than the road and lower than the sidewalk. This separation helps to define the lines between the three areas, keeping both pedestrians and cars out of the bike lane.
Finally, some protected bike lanes are separated by landscaping features like bushes, trees or medians. Concrete landscaping planters may be set up along the edge of the bike lane to add a more robust form of physical separation.
Unfortunately, even though these physical barriers are clearly safer for cyclists, they are often not in use because they are more complex and more expensive. Cyclists who have been injured in car accidents need to know how to seek financial compensation for medical bills and related costs.