Every day, millions of Americans use bicycles as a form of transportation
or simply for exercise. Many of these trips take place in relatively urban
areas, where bicyclists and motor vehicles are, by necessity, in close
proximity to one another. Unfortunately, whenever this is the case, accidents
between bicycles and other vehicles are bound to occur, sometimes resulting
in serious injuries to the people involved.
In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
reports that almost 50,000 pedalcyclists were injured in accidents with motor
vehicles in 2012. In most cases, the bicyclist is the party most seriously
injured in these accidents, as they have little protection from the elements
and can easily be thrown from their bikes.
Make Yourself Visible to Motorists, Especially at Night
While the presence of bicycles is always less obvious to drivers simply
due to their smaller size, this can be particularly true at night. The
fact that a car or truck’s vehicle body is usually outlined by symmetrically
placed headlights, taillights, and turning signals make them easily recognizable
to other drivers.
Lack of visibility during non-daylight hours is one of the most dangerous
aspects of riding at night, but there are certain steps that cyclists
can take to increase their visibility. These include the following:
- Wear retroreflective clothing;
- Always make sure your bike has reflectors on the front, back, and on both wheels;
Ride with an illuminated headlamp and taillight, as required by
- Try and ride only on well-lit roads; and
- Always be as alert as possible. Never ride at night after consuming alcohol
or if you are excessively fatigued.
The unfortunate reality is that accidents between bicyclists and motor
vehicles are bound to happen, even under the best of circumstances. When
they do, victims need to be able to establish that their
bicycle accident was caused by someone else’s negligence in order to be able to successfully
recover for their losses.
While many people may assume that it is always a bicyclist suing a motorist
after an accident, this is not always the case. Both bicyclists and drivers
are required to follow the rules of the road and either party can be held
liable for any injuries or other losses that may be sustained. As a practical
matter, however, bicyclists are unable to cause as serious of accidents
or injuries as cars or trucks simply based on their mass and speeds.
Consequently, claims made against bicyclists generally do not involve as
significant of damages, and in some cases may not be brought at all. A
bicyclist may, however, negligently cause a chain reaction accident involving
multiple vehicles, in which case he or she could potentially be held liable
for all losses sustained.
Some of the more common kinds of negligence that both drivers and bicyclists
may engage in include:
- Traveling with excessive speed under the circumstances;
- Failing to fully stop at stop signs;
- Failing to yield when required;
- Driving while impaired;
- Failing to observe traffic signals;
- Distracting driving or riding; and
- Failing to use turn signals or signaling an intention to turn or change lanes.
Contact an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
Anyone who has been injured in an Atlanta auto or bicycle accident that
they believe was caused by the negligence of another should discuss their
case with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Georgia law limits the amount of time in which a claim arising from an
accident can be brought, so any delay may jeopardize your ability to recover
for your losses. We work hard to get each client we represent the full
value of their personal injury claim. To schedule a free consultation
with one of our experienced lawyers, call Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.today
at (404) 869-8600.