Now that summer is upon us, more people are enjoying time on their bicycles. Not only can riding your bike be great exercise, but it’s also an eco-friendly way to get around. A lot of people in and around the city ride their bicycles to work or to do errands. Thousands of people in Georgia consider themselves serious cyclists and participate in races and cross-state events.
If you’re one of these people, you know how scary it can get sharing the road with motor vehicles in the summer. In fact, there are almost more bicycle accidents in Georgia between June and September than the rest of the year combined. When people get hurt in these accidents, they know to call an experienced Georgia bike accident lawyer. This way, they can focus on recovering from their injuries while their attorney handles the legal side of things.
How Common are Bicycle Accidents Anyway?
Bicycle accidents are a lot more common than you may think. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2019, more than 1,000 people in the U.S. were killed in bike accidents. Of these, more than 70% were the result of accidents involving motor vehicles. Despite warnings asking drivers to look out for bicycles on the road, many people don’t pay enough attention.
The next thing they know, they’re clipping a cyclist or hitting them head on. Because there’s nothing there to protect you during these accidents, you’re likely going to suffer a serious injury. If that’s the case, the driver who hit you needs to be held accountable. The best way to make sure that happens is to hire a skilled Georgia bike accident lawyer.
What are the Most Common Causes of Bike Accidents?
Some of the more common causes of bicycle accidents are similar to those for regular car accidents. People are distracted and don’t pay attention to the road. Or they are speeding and lose control of their bicycle at the last minute. Some motor vehicle drivers speed through a red light or stop sign and run over a bicyclist. But there are also other causes that have nothing to do with car or SUV drivers. For example, hundreds of people get hurt every year in bike accidents caused by the following:
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Unsafe lane change
- Pebbles, stones or potholes
- Not using bicycle lanes on busy roads
- Not wearing a helmet
- Poor footwear
If you fall victim to any of these and get hurt, you should talk to a Georgia bike accident lawyer right away.
Always Wear Your Helmet and Safety Gear
One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself is to wear your helmet and other safety gear. Serious bicycle riders typically wear goggles, elbow pads, and a helmet. They also have special shoes designed for cycling. You may not want to wear all of this equipment. If that’s the case, at least make sure you have your helmet on and reasonable footwear. If you do get into a crash while on your bike, this will help protect your brain, neck and ankles. If you ride without any safety equipment, your Georgia bike accident lawyer will have a hard time proving that you didn’t contribute to your injuries.
Use Hand Signals When Appropriate
If you plan on riding your bike in busy traffic, then you need to familiarize yourself with the basic hand signals. Just like people in a car have to use a turn signal or brakes, you have to do the same thing. If you don’t know what the signs are, go online and look them up. Knowing how to communicate with other motorists can make the difference between getting into an accident or making it safely home.
Be a Defensive Rider
When you learned how to drive a car, your parents may have taught you to be a defensive driver. The same rule applies when you’re on your bicycle. People driving their cars and SUVs simply don’t pay attention to bikes or motorcycles on the road. They complain that they didn’t see you or that you came out of nowhere. It’s better to expect other drivers to be ignorant rather than expect them to follow all the traffic laws. If you still get injured by a negligent driver, then you’ll want to talk to an experienced Georgia bike accident lawyer.