Harassing Drivers Pose Bicycle Accident Risk in Georgia
High unemployment rates, minimal disposable income and gas prices over $4 per gallon have motivated many who reside in the areas surrounding Atlanta to use their bicycle. Although financial pressure provides one explanation for the increasing number of cyclists, the nation’s struggle with obesity and increased focus on health also has many people pedaling for recreation and transportation.
Anyone that is a cycling enthusiast knows that many times bicyclists minding their own business are harassed by motorists who honk and crowd cyclists.
A recent Moultrie, GA bicycling accident provides an example of the lack of courtesy and attention extended to cyclists by many drivers of motor vehicles. The bicyclist was thrown into a ditch when a pickup truck slammed into the bicyclist from behind. Rear-enders involving cars, trucks and SUVs often result in only minor injuries, but a bicyclist that is involved in a rear-ender may suffer horrific injuries because of the weight difference between the vehicles and lack of protection afforded by a bicycle.
At Montlick and Associates, our experienced bicycle accident attorneys often hear complaints about drivers harassing bicyclists. Many drivers fail to appreciate the risk to which bicyclists are exposed when motorists drive too close to a bicycle or honk hard startling a bicycle enthusiast. Sometimes cyclists will move to the very edge of the roadway, but a motorist will refuse to pass and simply remain behind a bicycle while honking incessantly. This type of harassing behavior can easily result in a bicycle accident particularly when motorists do not allow sufficient space between their motor vehicle and a bicycle.
A bicyclist under Georgia law is bound to follow traffic safety laws like motorists. When a bicyclist is obeying traffic laws, wearing helmets and trying to stay a safe distance from motor vehicles, there is little more a cyclist can do when confronted by harassing motorists. Some drivers regard bicyclists as an annoying traffic obstruction even though a bicyclist is entitled to use Georgia roadways on an equal basis with motorists.
Approximately a half million people per year are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for bicycle accident injuries while 700 more people die in bicycle accidents. These statistics reflect the limited ability of bicyclists to engage in evasive maneuvers when motorists make driving errors, as well as the vulnerable nature of cyclists when collisions occur. Cyclists that are involved in a collision caused by a speeding driver, defective bicycle or malfunctioning traffic light may have a right to pursue a legal claim for damages.
Our Atlanta bicycle accident attorneys 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 Free 24-hour Live Online Chat.