Intersections Can Pose Significant Dangers for Georgia Bicyclists
Although the amount of time that a bicyclist spends in an intersection constitutes a very small portion of a typical bike ride, approximately half of all bicycle accidents occur in intersections according to the Federal Highway Administration. Because intersections involve the careful coordination of vehicles crossing paths so that they will not result in collisions if timed properly, it is not surprising the drivers of motor vehicles who are alcohol impaired, distracted or otherwise careless are more likely to collide with cyclists at intersections.
The increased risk of serious bicycle accidents at intersections is related to a number of factors. One major reason that motorists in intersections fail to notice bicyclists is that they simply do not anticipate the presence of these smaller vehicles. Even when drivers do notice a bicycle in an intersection, drivers tend to misjudge the speed of a bicycle and presume that it will clear the intersection before the vehicles collide. Distracted drivers pose an especially significant risk to cyclists because bikes are harder to see than cars even when motorists are completely focused on the roadway. If the cyclist is not wearing bright colored clothes, the risk also exists that the bicycle will blend into the background or that the driver's vision will be obstructed by the glare from the sun.
While bicyclists are more vulnerable to serious injury in a collision than occupants of cars, trucks or SUVs, they are still expected to be keep a safe lookout and be aware of the rules of the road. The most common defense asserted by insurance companies in lawsuits involving bicycle accident injury claims is that the cyclist was responsible for causing the crash. Because of the tendency of insurance companies to blame the bicyclist when a car and bicycle collide, it is important to seek prompt legal advice from an experienced Georgia bicycle accident lawyer who might use bicycle accident reconstruction experts to investigate the crash.
Although some bicycle riders presume that the smaller size and vulnerability of bike riders means that they will typically have the right of way at intersections, this is a misconception. Most states like Georgia consider bicycles to be vehicles despite the lack of an engine and the increased vulnerability of riders. This means that fault for an intersection accident often will be based on standard right or way rules that apply to all vehicles. When parents let their kids ride bikes on the Georgia roadways, therefore, it is important to confirm that kids know the right of way rules for intersections.
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Our experienced Georgia bicycle accident attorneys diligently protect our clients' interests, investigate bicycle-car crashes resulting in injury and seek the best possible outcome for our clients. If you or a loved one is injured or a family member dies in an bicycle-car crash, our Georgia bicycle accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing injury victims for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to 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.
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