The Impact of Road Infrastructure on Bicycle Safety and Accident Rates

after an accident talk to an Atlanta bicycle lawyer

Public roads should be accessible to all users, be they drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists or pedestrians. Unfortunately, when bicycles share the road with cars, the result is a significant number of bike accidents causing severe to catastrophic injuries. In this case, injured cyclists can rely on an experienced Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer to help them seek damages from the at-fault driver.

The reality is that better developed infrastructure of bike lanes could save life and make a positive impact on the overall traffic in our state. Let us discuss this topic in more detail, with examples from success stories around the U.S.

The Facts: Fatal Bicycle Accidents Are on the Rise

Georgia Bikes, a non-profit organization, has been collecting crash data for the last ten years and cataloging it by type of fatality. In the case of bicycle accidents, the numbers for the period 2013-2023 in our state are:

  • 7,121 accidents
  • 150 bicyclists killed in crashes
  • 662 bicyclists suffered severe injuries
  • 2,671 bicyclists were left with visible injuries

Also, the chart indicating the number of deaths from year to year shows a sharp increase in crashes resulting in severe injuries from 2020 to 2023.

Where Are Bicyclists More at Risk of Suffering Accidents?

A group of researchers has used actual bicycle traffic data from Atlanta, Georgia, to estimate the impact of protected bike lanes. They found out that buffered and protected bicycle lanes are extremely helpful in reducing the incidence of harmful events (accidents) in areas between intersections.

However, in intersections, bicyclists are vulnerable even if they are using special bike lanes.

But the researchers also pointed out that the conventional bike lanes that do not have buffer zones or any kind of physical separation from lanes for car traffic, offer no significant protection. Bicyclists are just as vulnerable to crashes as if they were sharing lanes with cars.

Few Large U.S. Cities are Bicycle-Friendly

As an Atlanta bicycle lawyer knows, the highest incidence in bike crashes are in big cities. This is not surprising because, according to a large survey on bicycle infrastructure, large cities do not have a sufficient network of bike lanes.

According to the survey, out of all 1,484 bicycle-friendly cities in the U.S., only 69 are large cities. Also, there is no good news for Georgians in this survey. None of the cities in the top ten for large, medium and small cities are from our state.

bicycle lanes can save bicyclists' lives

A Potential Change for the Better in Atlanta

Fortunately, the local government of Atlanta has recognized the fact that bicycle riders need more protection on the road. The Safe Streets Plan aims to reduce pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities to zero by 2030.

This plan includes addressing the key risks for these categories of road users:

  • Speed: most pedestrian and bike accidents happen on roads where the speed limit is above 35 mph
  • Number of lanes: more protected bike lanes can effectively reduce the number of crashes
  • Lighting: poor lighting contributes to crashes by reducing driver’s visibility
  • Crosswalks: improperly signaled crosswalks represent a danger of accidents for bicyclists

Action for the Present: Protect Yourself and Your Legal Rights

Until the authorities’ plans come true, bicyclists should comply with all traffic laws and practice defensive cycling to avoid accidents. However, if you are injured in a crash, remember that you have the legal right to obtain damages from the at-fault driver.

In order to protect your rights and file an accident claim successfully remember to take the following steps after the crash:

  • Report the accident to the police
  • Obtain the driver’s contact and insurance information
  • Take photos and videos of the accident scene
  • Go to the nearest hospital for medical attention immediately after the crash
  • Do not talk to an insurance adjuster without a lawyer

Consult with an Experienced Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyer!

Last, but not least, do not fight your legal battle alone. An experienced Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer at The Weinstein Firm will help you prepare, file and negotiate your claim.

Since the statute of limitations for taking legal action is just two years after the crash, contact us as soon as possible after your accident. We offer each new client a free case evaluation, so call us at 770-HELP-NOW!

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