Athens Bike Accident Lawyers
Alternative forms of transportation in congested cities and towns are becoming more and more popular.
Bicycles provide an affordable alternative to cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other motorized vehicles.
Unfortunately, many drivers fail to pay attention or safely share the road with bicycles.
Bicyclists can be left with severe, debilitating injuries – or even death – in the event of a crash.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 800 cyclists are killed each year in crashes.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
There are varying factors why bicycle crashes occur, and each case is different. Here are some of the more common causes of bicycle crashes.
- Distracted driving (inattentive, texting, etc.)
- Failure to yield
- Following too closely
- Reckless driving
- Unsafe roads
- Crossing in front of the bike (When a vehicle crosses into a bicyclist’s path at an intersection or from a driveway or alley.)
- Blind spots
- Bad weather
- Drug or alcohol use
- Failure to follow traffic laws
Common Bike Crash Injuries
- Road rash
- Broken bones
- Spinal-cord injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Nerve damage
- Dislocated joints
- Dental or jaw injuries
How to Ride Safe
Aside from always wearing a helmet, it’s important to use the correct equipment on your bike to ensure other drivers can see you. Lights or reflectors help you stay visible in the dark, and bright clothing makes it easier to see you, regardless of the time of day.
You can also minimize crashes by driving predictably. Use hand signals before turning, follow the direction of traffic, and stay away from areas where drivers wouldn’t expect to see you.
In addition, always be on the lookout—the only person you can trust to keep you safe is yourself.
Know Your Rights
Following Georgia’s bike laws will help you stay safe and avoid liability.
- Signs & Signals: Bicyclists must obey all traffic signs and signals. Always signal your intentions when turning or stopping.
- Lights: At night, the front of the bike must have a white light visible from 300 feet. On the rear, the bike needs a reflector or a red light visible from 300 feet.
- Children: All cyclists 16 and younger must wear a helmet.
- Ride Right: Ride as far to the right as possible, except when turning left, avoiding hazards, or when the lane is too narrow to share.
- Bike Lanes: Ride in the same direction as traffic, even in bike lanes.
- Brakes: Bicycles must have brakes that make wheels skid on dry pavement.
- Sidewalks: Bicycles are not allowed on sidewalks.
- Insurance: Insurance is not required, but uninsured motorist coverage is strongly recommended.
Download a Free Bicycle Safety Card
What Should I do After a Crash?
First, call 911. Even if there isn’t a serious injury, it’s important to make sure an official report is created as a record of the crash.
Second, never admit fault. If you admit that you caused the crash, that may be used against you. Also, make sure the police write down and document your side of the story.
Third, don’t move your bike. After a crash happens, make sure you leave the scene untouched. Take photos or video of the location, any injuries, road conditions, street signs, and damage to your bike, helmet, or the vehicle involved.
What Information Should I Gather?
Much like in a fender-bender, it’s important to get identifying details from the other person involved.
This includes the vehicle’s license plate number and state, the driver’s name and contact information, insurance information, and driver’s license state and number.
If you don’t have a pen and paper to gather this information, use your cell phone to gather it.
Take photos or video of:
- The other vehicle
- Crash location
- Your bike
- Road conditions
- Any damages
- Driver’s license plate
- Driver’s license
- Driver’s insurance card
- Badge of reporting officer
You should also collect contact information from any witnesses, along with the name and badge number of the police officers who respond to the scene, and details of the police report (such as the report number, date, time, weather conditions, and the location of the crash).
You can purchase the police report at buycrash.com. For more information on the car accident report, you can read here.
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle crash because of unsafe roads or someone else’s negligence, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side who can help you navigate the legal system and build a strong case against the right people. Contact one of our personal injury attorneys by calling 706-354-4000 or filling out our free case review form.
We offer free consultations and there is no fee unless we win.
We have offices in Athens, Atlanta, and Lake Oconee, and take cases across Georgia.
BikeAthens is a great resource for bike safety information. BikeAthens is a Georgia non-profit that aims to promote cycling, walking, and transit as transportation options in Athens. Learn more here.