The popularity of riding a bicycle in Atlanta is ever-increasing, and the increased bike riding shows and more accidents between cars and bicycle riders. Many of these bike accidents require a lawyer. A personal injury attorney can help the victim of a bike accident get the compensation he/she deserves. If you are the victim of a bike accident, contact us at Schneider & Hammers for a FREE case evaluation by an experienced Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer.
There have been giant strides and improvements when it comes to reducing highway traffic accidents. However, the number of bicycle-related accidents has been on the rise. In fact, bike accidents are now more common than ever. Bicyclists are especially vulnerable to injury when they are on the road with motorists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2013 alone, 743 bicyclists were killed and thousands more were injured as a result of accidents with other motor vehicles. If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident, you deserve to be compensated for your losses.
With more than 40 years of combined legal experience and a track record that includes millions of dollars in recoveries, Schneider Hammers can be trusted to fight for the level of compensation you deserve. Having represented thousands of personal injury claims, we are intimately familiar with state and local laws. Find out how we can assist you by scheduling a free consultation today.
Accident Prevention Tips from an Atlanta Bicycle Accident Attorney
A lot goes into staying safe on the road. Of course, you can’t guarantee that you will never get into an accident. However, you can avoid being the driver at fault. You need to pay full attention to the road and ride at a safe speed. You should also maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and pedestrians. That’s not all. You must merge and approach intersections with caution, wear a helmet and obey the rules of the road. We’ll expand on these guidelines below and also make some other safety recommendations.
Pay Close Attention While Riding Your Bike
Car drivers are not the only ones who can easily be distracted. The average bicycle accident attorney knows distracted riding is one of the biggest reasons they remain employed. You never want to take your eyes away from where you are going while you are on the road.
Whether you are actively riding on a busy road or sitting at a traffic light, you should remain focused. Like car drivers, many bicyclists nowadays are more focused on their smartphones than the road. A mobile device is designed for when you are on the move. However, it is not meant to be used while riding your bicycle. The “Wait to Text” mentality when driving a vehicle should also apply to riding your bicycle.
Maintain a Safe Riding Speed to Avoid Crashes and Collisions
There are not very many bicycles that can match the speed of an automobile (if any). That does not mean you should ride your bicycle as fast as you physically can. Any bike accident attorney knows about cases where serious injuries and damage were caused by speeding bicycles. This is why these legal experts would generally urge all bicyclists to be careful. They should consider other vehicles, road conditions, weather and the terrain on which they are riding. This would help them to determine a safe speed at which to travel. Speeding on a bicycle has led to people becoming seriously injured or even losing their life on the road. No one is happy when he or she hears about such silly mistakes.
Maintain a Safe Distance Away from Motor Vehicle Traffic
You should always maintain a safe distance of at least three feet between your bicycle and any other vehicle. Any bicycle accident attorney can inform you that more than 20 different states require that minimum distance. Never assume that any motor vehicle is going to give you the distance required by law every single time. If so, the services of the average bicycle accident attorney would not be so high in demand today. Be sure to use the sidewalk or shoulder lane whenever possible to avoid flowing directly into motor vehicle traffic.
Be Cautious Whenever You Must Merge or Approach Intersections
Many states have laws that classify bicycles as vehicles. This allows bicyclists to have the same rights as any other driver on the road. However, according to a bicycle accident attorney located, also most drivers believe bicyclists should be on the right.
What is your first thought when a bicyclist is in the middle of the lane? What about when one is parked in a turning lane? You may think that either they know a good bike accident attorney. Either that or they are very brave or just a little crazy to be that bold on the road. Smart bicyclists know some of the most dangerous moments of their rides occur when merging or crossing intersections. This is why an extra degree of caution and consideration is required.
Be Careful When Riding on Parking Lots, Driveways, and Sidewalks
Parking lots, driveways and sidewalks have a much smaller area available for riders than the street. In addition, they also have a substantial number of obstructions that are not present within the street. These may be newspaper stands, restaurant seating, parked cars, driveway turns, or even people. Any bicycle accident attorney would tell you to watch out in these areas.
Due to this more confined space, you will have much less time to react. You would find it difficult to avoid an obstruction. This could increase your risk of getting into an accident. Most bike accident attorneys will advise you to stay in the street whenever possible. Still, it is always best to assume objects will jump out. Remain prepared to make evasive maneuvers. There is an increasing amount of congestion on the streets. However, there are also many different safety precautions you can take as well.
Always Wear Your Helmet
This one seems like a no-brainer. But an bicycle accident attorney still has to remind their clients. As simple as this sounds, only about 40% of bicycle riders claim to use a helmet while riding. Most bike accident attorneys would agree that not wearing a proper helmet is dangerous. Head trauma is the leading injury among bicyclists today. Studies have shown that wearing a proper helmet can reduce the risk of injury by up to 60%.
Always Pack Water & Remain Hydrated
This may be more dependent on how far you plan to ride. Due to the weather and several other factors, most experts urge riders to pack at least one water bottle. If you plan to enjoy longer distances, then it is recommended to pack several bottles of water. You should also drink more water at home before you head out. Remaining hydrated will keep you focused and in good health while on the road.
Always Know Where You are Going
There is nothing worse than getting lost on your bike ride. Confusion on the road can lead any type of vehicle into a potentially dangerous situation – including a bicycle. It is always best to map out where you plan to ride your bicycle in advance. Sometimes you may just want to explore. You may decide that you do not need to plan out your route in advance. If you get into trouble in the Atlanta area, call a bike accident attorney for legal assistance.
Make Sure You Remain Visible to Others at All Times
Whenever you ride, wear something that will make it easy for motorists to be able to see you. Any bicycle accident attorney would recommend that you wear bright colored clothing each time that you ride your bicycle. Wear clothing that is reflective to make sure you are even seen from longer distances. This is especially important if you plan to ride your bike at nighttime. A growing number of bicycle accidents occur because the motorist was not able to see the bicyclist in time.
A Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help
You likely plan to ride on the road along with cars and other types of motor vehicles. It is, therefore, highly recommended for you to closely follow and obey all rules of the road. The best way to ride with cars safely is to act as if you are driving a car. Follow each rule of the road that the average motorist must follow. That way you can keep yourself and others safe on the road.
This means that you will avoid riding into oncoming traffic just to weave your way around vehicles. It also means that you will yield to pedestrians and obey all traffic signs and/or lights. You also have to use correct hand signals to provide motorists with accurate indications of your turns and maneuvers. It would be in your best interest to consider and follow the above-referenced tips. Remember it is important to choose a local Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer near you. Call our office today to get started.