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Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle Accidents

Bicycles are legally classified as vehicles in Georgia, meaning that the state’s general vehicular traffic law applies to the operation of a bicycle. While Atlanta is known as being a predominantly automobile-reliant area of Georgia because of interstate highways that flow into the city, the bicycling community has grown considerably in and around Atlanta—to the point that the city hired its first Chief Bicycle Officer in 2015.

Whether a person rides a bike trail such as the Silver Comet Trail in Cobb County or he or she uses a bicycle in a more urban area within Atlanta, bicycle accidents can occur anywhere. Many bicycle crashes are the result of a negligent motorist, and the basic lack of protection that bicyclists have in such collisions usually involves them suffering extremely serious injuries.

Lawyer for Bicycle Accidents in Atlanta, GA

Did you sustain catastrophic injuries or was your loved one killed in a bicycle accident in Georgia? You should avoid speaking to any insurance company or signing any paperwork until you have legal representation. You will want to contact Marcus A. Roberts & Associates as soon as possible for help holding the negligent party accountable.

Marcus A. Roberts is an experienced personal injury attorney in Atlanta who represents people injured in all kinds of automobile collisions in DeKalb County, Cobb County, Gwinnett County, Fulton County, and Clayton County. He can review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call 404-577-4444 to receive a free initial consultation.

Overview of Bicycle Accidents in Fulton County

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Georgia Bicycle Laws

Georgia Code § 40-1-1(75) defines a vehicle as “every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, excepting devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.” A bicycle is defined under Georgia Code § 40-1-1(6) as “every device propelled by human power upon which any person may ride, having only two wheels which are in tandem and either of which is more than 13 inches in diameter.”

Operators of motor vehicles are required under Georgia Code § 40-6-56(b) when overtaking and passing bicycles that are proceeding in the same direction on roadways to leave a safe distance between such vehicle and the bicycle and shall maintain such clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle. A safe distance is defined under Georgia Code § 40-6-56(a) as being no less than three feet.

Georgia Code § 40-6-294 establishes that every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway should ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, except when:

  • Turning left;
  • Avoiding hazards to safe cycling;
  • The lane is too narrow to share safely with a motor vehicle;
  • Traveling at the same speed as traffic;
  • Exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction; or
  • There is a right turn only lane and the person operating the bicycle is not turning right; provided, however, that every person operating a bicycle away from the right side of the roadway shall exercise reasonable care and shall give due consideration to the other applicable rules of the road.

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Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Atlanta

While bicycles deserve to be treated with the same respect that drivers would bestow upon other automobiles they share the road with; motorists occasionally fail to exercise the proper amount of care. Certain oversights or reckless acts endanger bicyclists and increase the chances of injury.

A few of the most common reasons that bicycle crashes happen in Georgia include, but are not limited to:

  • Dooring Accidents — In urban areas such as downtown Atlanta, it is extremely common for motor vehicle occupants to open automobile doors without looking for oncoming cyclists. When this happens, bicyclists are powerless to avoid colliding with the doors and typically suffer serious injuries.
  • Turn Accidents — If a motor vehicle turns left in front of an oncoming bicyclist, the accident is often referred to as a “left cross.” When an automobile turns right in front of a cyclist traveling in the same direction, it is often called a “right hook.” Either type of collision can result in severe harm for the bicyclist.
  • Drunk Drivers — If a person is driving under the influence (DUI) of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances, there is an increased likelihood that the impairment will result in a bicycle not being seen or the motorist failing to accurately gauge a bicyclist’s speed or distance from the vehicle.
  • Failure to Yield — Many bicycle accidents occur at intersections in which people operating motor vehicles either fail to see the bicyclist or disregard his or her rights as a vehicle on the road. Disregarding traffic signs or signals often lead to automobiles striking bicyclists.
  • Defective Parts — Some bicycle crashes do not involve motor vehicles. When certain bicycle parts are defectively designed or manufactured, a bicyclist can lose control of his or her bike at a particularly inopportune time and sustain devastating injuries.

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Georgia Bicycle Accident Resources

Bicycle Safety Checklist — On this section of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety website, you can find an interactive checklist for bicyclists. The checklist includes specific safety concerns relating to brakes, wheels, handlebars, tires, lights, and more. Elsewhere on the website, you can find tips and tools for bicyclists, bicycle safety issue fact sheets, and links to local bicycle groups or campaigns.

Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety
7 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Suite 643
Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 656-6996

Georgia BIKE SENSE — View a Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) manual intended to serve as a guide to help motorists and cyclists safely share the road. The manual covers what people should do if they are involved in bicycle crashes. Motorists and Cyclists: Sharing Georgia’s Roads is another GDOT manual that includes helpful diagrams for common situations with the best ways to avoid accidents.

Georgia Department of Transportation
600 West Peachtree NW
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 631-1990

Georgia Bikes — Georgia Bikes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated with the Georgia Secretary of State that is “working to improve bicycling conditions and promote bicycling throughout the state of Georgia.” On this website, you can learn more about the benefits of bicycling, view bicycling destinations in Georgia, and access different webinars. You can also visit the Georgia Bikes blog and view a calendar of upcoming events.

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Marcus A. Roberts & Associates | Atlanta Bicycle Accident Attorney

If you suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in any kind of bicycle crash caused by another party’s negligence in Georgia, it will be in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Marcus A. Roberts & Associates represents residents of and visitors to communities all over DeKalb County, Clayton County, Cobb County, Fulton County, and Gwinnett County.

Atlanta personal injury lawyer Marcus A. Roberts understands the tremendous hardships that bicycle accident injuries place not only on victims but also their entire families. He fights to get clients the compensation they need and deserve, and you can have our attorney provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call 404-577-4444 or submit an online contact form to set up a free, no obligation consultation.

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