Last year, one Georgia bicyclist learned the hard way of the dangers associated with bicycling in and around the Atlanta area. The 50 year old, who has ridden to work every day for more than 20 years, was struck by a Dodge Nitro. The two got into an argument, then the driver did the unthinkable—he pulled a U-turn and ran down the fleeing cyclist. The cyclist was dragged more than 50 feet and the driver remains at large. The cyclist spent considerable time in the ICU and is still working to fully recover from his extensive injuries.
Georgia Ranks #11 in Highest Number of Cyclist Deaths
According to the National Highway Transit Safety Administration (NHTSA) (opens new window and download NHSTA document), there were 726 cyclists killed across the U.S. in 2012, the most recent year for which complete data has been released. Another 49,000 were injured. Georgia was the site of 17 cyclist deaths, which is the 11th most in the country. While this figure is down from prior years, it remains high and speaks to some of the dangers bicyclists face, especially in urban areas.
Staying Safe While Biking
There are a number of steps you can take to ensure your safety when riding your bike. Some safety tips include, but are not limited to:
1. Protect your head: Always wear a helmet, each and every time you get on your bike.
2. Make yourself visible: If drivers can see you, you are far less likely to get hit. Use lights when biking in low light conditions and wear reflective clothing.
3. Look, signal, then look again: Use hand signals to let drivers and other bicyclists know where you are going. Look and make eye contact before turning and do not assume drivers will stop.
4. Stay alert: Be on the lookout for obstacles in your path at all times.
5. Go with the flow: Always bike in the direction of traffic.
6. Ride like a car: It is safest to conduct yourself like an automobile because drivers are used to the patterns of other drivers. Do not weave in and out of traffic. Ride predictably to stay safe.
7. Do not get distracted: Do not listen to music or talk on the phone while riding your bike.
8. Obey all traffic laws and signals: Pay attention to all stop signs and traffic lights as they apply to bicyclists just like they do vehicles.
9. Assure your bike is road ready: Make sure your bicycle is adjusted properly.
10. Do a bicycle test: Take a moment and check your tires and wheels before setting off. Ensure wheels are properly secured and brakes in good working order.
Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law: Put Our Over 39 Years of Experience to Work on Your Personal Injury Action!
If you or a loved one has been injured in bicycle or other related accident, the Georgia Personal Injury Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, are here to help. Our firm has over 39 years of experience in the industry and strive to provide legal services of unmatched excellence. We accept cases across Georgia and in the Southeast. The sooner you act after your accident, the greater your chances of obtaining a full recovery for your injuries. As such, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.