Spring is in the air, and many Atlantans, weary of the winter weather, will be heading out in their bicycles. It’s the right time for Atlanta bicycle accident attorneys to warn bikers of the special risks they face out there. While bicyclists can do nothing to compensate for the negligence of motorists, they can increase their own risks of surviving an accident, by wearing a helmet, riding a properly functioning bike and obeying all road safety rules.
The number one rule of bicycle safety is – wear a helmet. A helmet will not completely protect you from traumatic brain injury in the event of an accident, but will reduce the chances of suffering a seriously debilitating head injury. The helmet should be well-fitting and fit snugly on your head.
Before you begin a ride, check and make sure that the handlebars are functioning properly, and the wheels are secure. Make sure that your brakes are functioning properly.
Dress for bicycling. Wear brightly colored or neon clothes to stand out in traffic. A motorist is more likely to notice you if you’re wearing a neon yellow T-shirt and a matching yellow helmet.
Avoid biking at night as much as possible. If you really must bike at night, equip your cycle with reflectors and bright lights.
Avoid all distractions. Avoid cycling while listening to music, or talking on your handset.
Be extra careful when you enter intersections -these are bicycle accident magnets.
Look out especially closely for motorists opening car doors right in your path. Opening vehicle doors in fact, are one of the top 3 most frequent causes of serious bicycle accidents in the United States. A bicyclist can be taken completely by surprise by a car door that is being opened, causing a fall with serious injuries.
In Georgia, as in most states, the bicycle is considered a “vehicle.” This “vehicle” classification means that general vehicular traffic law applies to bicycles and the operation of a bicycle. In fact, a vast majority of vehicle code and operation regulations apply to all classes of vehicles and thus include bicycle operation. However the vehicular code and various regulations include many specific qualifications for specific classes of vehicles.
- Wherever the code or regulation uses the phrase “vehicle” that section applies to all vehicles, including bicycles. Operation at traffic signals and stop signs would be examples.
- When the term “motor vehicle” is used, that portion does not apply to bicycles. Requirements for licensing, registration, and insurance would be examples.
- Whenever the specific term “bicycle” is used, that portion applies only to bicycles or bicycle operators. Special braking and lighting requirements are examples.
- Cyclists walking their bicycles are pedestrians, and they must follow the laws and regulations covering pedestrians.
This spring and summer, watch out for rash, speeding and drunk drivers, and lower your risks of an accident by biking safely and following all of the Rules of the Road in Georgia as they apply to bicycles.
Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, automobile accident cases, personal injury cases, dental malpractice and medical malpractice lawsuits for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years in and around Atlanta, Georgia and its surrounding areas, including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.