A significantly larger number of people in the United States choose to
travel by motor vehicle than on a bicycle. However, though bicyclists
make up only about 1 percent of travelers, people on bicycles are still
at a greater risk of injury or death than people who drive or ride in
any type of motor vehicle.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
reports that, in 2010 alone, approximately 515,000 people visited emergency medical
facilities in the United States due to injuries suffered in
bicycle accidents. Such accidents can be extremely severe and even fatal, as nearly 800
bicyclists died of their accident-related injuries in that same year.
Riding a bicycle is fun, healthy, and good for the environment, so the
risks of injury should not stop people from going for a recreational ride
or using a bicycle to commute. Instead, all bicycle riders should be aware
of the steps they can take to prevent injuries in the unfortunate event
of a collision.
Wear a Helmet
Wearing a helmet is one of the main ways you can protect yourself from
injury in a collision. In many bicycle accidents, riders can get thrown
from their bikes and can crash to the ground, often hitting their head
on the pavement, curb, car, or other object. Such a blow to the head commonly
results in a traumatic brain injury.
Such injuries can not only require extensive medical care, but can also
cause long-lasting challenges in your life or even leave you permanently
brain injuries can often be prevented by wearing a helmet.
Georgia law currently only requires riders younger than 16 to wear helmets. However,
helmets are extremely important for riders of all ages.
If you are riding at night, not only should you have a light and/or reflectors
on your bicycle, but you should also make sure to wear plenty of retro-reflective
clothing and have reflectors on your helmet. It is also important to stay
visible during daytime hours, as drivers are often specifically looking
out for other cars and not for bicycles. Therefore, bicyclists should
make themselves as visible as possible by wearing fluorescent colors and
Know the Rules of the Road
Like operators of any other vehicle, bicyclists must follow traffic laws.
Knowing when to yield, when to pass, how to signal a turn, and more will
help keep you safe on the road. You should know never to follow a car
too closely or cut a car off by suddenly switching lanes or turning in
front of the car. Additionally, you should be familiar with all of the
common mistakes that drivers make when driving next to a bicyclist so
you can be a good defensive rider, as well.
At the law office of Goldstein & Hayes, we are dedicated to helping
people in Atlanta who have suffered needless injuries on bicycles or other
forms of transportation. If a driver or other party caused your injuries,
call us today to discuss your case for free with an experienced
injury attorney in Atlanta, GA.