Atlanta Bicycle Accidents Attorney
Traffic accidents don’t always just happen between motor vehicles. Each year about 2% of car crash death victims are bicyclists. While 2% may seem like a small number, this accounts for several hundred fatalities each year. The vast majority of these deaths occur in urban areas.
Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents include motor vehicles turning into bicyclists who are crossing the street, motor vehicles driving in the bicycle lane, and motor vehicle drivers opening their doors and hitting oncoming bicyclists.
Cycling is a great way to stay in shape, avoid traffic and save our planet’s environment. It’s not surprising that major cities across the country have invested in upgrading bicycle paths, interspersing accessible bike rental areas throughout the city and creating safe areas to encourage residents to ride their bikes. The Atlanta Belt Line, a pedestrian and bike-friendly network of multi-use trails in the heart of the city, has been one of Atlanta’s most praised green projects.
Whether you are bicycling in the suburbs or the city, there are things you can do to make sure your experience is as safe as possible.
You should know that in the state of Georgia, a bicycle is legally considered to be a “vehicle.” As a result, any traffic law that makes reference to a vehicle also applies to bicycles and motorcycles. The only exceptions are laws specifically using the term “motor vehicle.”
As well as having to abide by regular traffic laws, there are also specific laws that govern bicycle operators.
Georgia bicycle laws
Some of the most important Georgia laws that govern bike riders include:
40-6-296(a) Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a light on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of 300 feet to the front and with a light on the back which shall emit a red light visible from a distance of 300 feet to the rear. Any bicycle equipped with a red reflector on the rear that is approved by the Department of Public Safety shall not be required to have a light on the rear of the bicycle.
40-6-296(d)(1) No person under the age of 16 years shall operate or be a passenger on a bicycle on a highway, bicycle path, bicycle lane, or sidewalk under the jurisdiction or control of this state or any local political subdivision thereof without wearing a bicycle helmet.
For a comprehensive list of all bicycle laws in Georgia, you can visit the Georgia Highway Safety website.
We can’t always control the actions of others or how they drive, but there are things that riders can do in order to decrease the chances of a bicycle accident.
1. Check your bicycle
Before getting on the road, always check to ensure that your bike is in optimal riding condition. You should make a habit of checking your tires to make sure that they have enough air and that there are no bald or worn-out spots, that the brakes are functioning correctly and that the chain is lubricated and in good condition.
The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety publishes a FREE comprehensive checklist online here that you can use to ensure your bicycle is safe to ride.
2. Wear safety gear
Safety should be your top priority. Make sure that you always wear a riding helmet. Some studies have shown that wearing a helmet properly can reduce your chance of a serious head or brain injury by 85%! Wearing bright or fluorescent colors will also alert drivers that you’re on the road. Lack of visibility is one of the leading factors in crashes!
3. Know Georgia law
Follow all traffic laws and be alert at all times.
The Georgia Department of Transportation offers a free PDF booklet on their website called “Georgia Bike Sense: A Guide for Cyclists and Motorists”, full of helpful resources and information.
Contact an Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer
With dozens of years of legal experience, the attorneys at Kaine Law know how to get great results for our clients, as our client testimonials show. If you or a loved one is injured in a bicycle accident, contact Kaine Law, LLC online or call 877-884-8579 for a free case evaluation. Hablamos español.