Spring Weather Means an Increase in Bicycle Accidents in Georgia
Now that spring is upon us, many people are biking for fun, exercise and inexpensive transportation. While riding a bicycle can be enjoyable, it also can expose a rider to the danger of drivers who are texting on cell phones or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Bicyclists can reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries by wearing a helmet, but bike riders are otherwise generally exposed to severe injuries because of the lack of protection or safety equipment available to those who ride bikes.
Bicycle accidents are a significant risk when navigating the streets and roads of Georgia based on data provided by the Georgia Department of Transportation. Almost 6,800 bicyclists were involved in collisions with motor vehicles during a recent seven-year period (i.e. over 950 per year). Twenty percent of these bicyclists were children between the ages of five and fourteen. The majority of these accidents occur on city streets, but the majority of fatal bike accidents happen on state routes. These biking accidents resulted in 5,078 people suffering injury and 118 fatalities. In other words, almost 75 percent of those involved in bicycle accidents suffer some form of injury.
Motorists that fail to exercise reasonable care to avoid causing foreseeable injury to bicyclists may be financially responsible for the injuries and forms of loss that they cause. The most common forms of careless or reckless driving by motorists that cause bicycle accidents involves inattentive driving, drunken driving and exceeding the speed limit. The lack of stability, relatively slow speed and limited maneuverability of bikes increases the risk posed by drivers who violate traffic safety rules or disregard prudent driving practices.
Georgia law provides a number of specific laws that are designed to prevent bicycle-motor vehicle collisions:
Passing Bicyclist: When a driver passes a bicycle, the driver must allow three feet between the motor vehicle and bicycle as long as it is feasible to do so.
Bicycle Lanes: Where a bicycle lane exists, a driver must yield to riders in the bicycle lane.
Georgia Rules of the Road: Driver also must abide by general traffic safety laws to avoid bicycle collisions, including changing lanes when safe, stopping at stop signs and red lights, obeying the speed limit and complying with other traffic laws.
If you are hit by a car, truck or SUV, while riding a bike on the streets or highways of Atlanta or the surrounding area, you may be entitled to financial compensation for any injuries and other forms of damage. The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 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.