Like any accident on the road, a bicycle accident carries the risk of personal injury and property damage. However, because of the lack of protection that cyclists have compared to cars and trucks, they make up 2 percent of traffic fatalities even though they account for only 1 percent of all travelers.
In the past few years, the cyclist fatality rate has hovered around 17 deaths per year in Georgia. The projected statistics for 2016 show an optimistic drop in deaths, but roads, especially urban ones, are still very dangerous for cyclists whether there are other vehicles around or not.
The most common cause for bicycle accidents is, unsurprisingly, collisions with other vehicles. Following in order of prevalence are falls, unfit road conditions, and rider error. When a bike has collided with another vehicle like a car or a truck, it is most often due to driver negligence – on either the cyclist or the motor vehicle driver’s part.
Negligence can come in many forms:
Cyclists do not have bumpers, doors, and airbags to protect them from impact. When a bicycle collides with another vehicle, or even when the accident involves just them, they can be thrown from their bike with their only protection being a helmet.
In situations such as this, some common injuries include:
In Georgia, bicycles are considered vehicles. They might be slower and smaller, but they move on wheels and thus are required to follow the same traffic laws that another vehicle would.
Simply put, the driver who violated the traffic law or right of way is the one at fault. For example, if a cyclist runs through a red light and gets hit by a vehicle that is passing through the intersection legally, the cyclist is at fault, but if a driver of a motor vehicle fails to account for a bike lane, check their mirrors, or give a cyclist enough space when passing (3 feet of space), they are at fault.
It should be noted though, that if a cyclist is riding within a bike lane, all other motor vehicles must yield to them.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident and is seeking compensation for personal injury or property damage, do not hesitate to contact the expert Atlanta bicycle accident attorneys at Hinton & Powell.
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