Fatal Bicycle-Bus Collision Evidences the Vulnerability of Bicycle Riders


December 13, 2012

When a bicycle is involved in a collision with any type of motor vehicle, the bicyclist is likely to experience severe injuries because bikes do not provide any protection from impact during a collision.

Bicycles offer no chassis, body, passenger restraints or airbags to protect riders so even low speed collisions can cause life-threatening injuries. A recent fatal Paulding collision between a charter bus and a bicycle serve as a grim testament to the dangers faced by cyclists.

While bicycle helmets can mitigate the risk of suffering a severe head injury and reduce the risk of bicycle accident fatalities, wearing a helmet provides only limited protection from injury. The Paulding County bicyclist had a bike helmet for protection but still suffered fatal injuries when he was hit by a charter bus inside the Emerson city limits according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Given the massive size and weight of a charter bus, any impact with a bicycle is likely to have devastating results.

As this tragedy reveals, helmets cannot prevent all traumatic brain injuries, but this is essentially the only significant type of safety equipment available to bicyclists. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that seventy percent of all motorcycle fatalities are caused by head injuries, but approved helmets can reduce the risk of head injuries from 74-85 percent.

There are many causes of bicycle accidents including:

  • Drivers traveling at an unsafe speed
  • Motorists distracted by mobile phones
  • Pothole or otherwise poorly maintained road surfaces
  • Slippery road conditions
  • Unsafe driving near intersections
  • Failing to monitor blind spots in cars, trucks or SUVs
  • Dogs that charge bicyclists
  • Operating a vehicle when distracted by reading, grooming, adjusting a GPS or reaching for an object
  • Not observing the two-second following rule

Bicycle accidents affect people of all ages but have a disproportionate impact on children, preteens and teenagers who are hit by inattentive and careless motorists. Many public entities have provided bike paths, but bicycle lanes can obstruct the flow of traffic and create more serious dangers for riders.

While bicyclists are entitled to use the roads in the same manner as passenger vehicles, riders must also obey traffic safety laws. Drivers who disregard traffic safety laws or simply do not concentrate fully on their driving can cause bicycle crashes that result in permanent debilitating injuries.

Our Georgia bicycle accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast. 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.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.