Atlanta has long struggled with the challenges associated with rising bicycle accidents. As increasing numbers of people fill the streets of Atlanta, biking becomes increasingly dangerous for many residents, bringing with it a number of potential hazards. Cycling overall continues to rise in many major cities, and residents continue to push for safer streets for bikes in general.
Do you know how to manage the potential for bike accidents in Atlanta?
Is Atlanta a bike-friendly city?
Georgia ranks, overall, nineteenth on the list of most bike-friendly states. As bike infrastructure continues to become increasingly important across the US, however, many cities, including Atlanta, have put the focus back on making critical strides that can help improve overall safety for bikers.
Atlanta offers plenty of biking paths for cyclists of all skill levels, including city streets, paved paths, and even mountain biking rails. Atlanta has a robust system of bike lanes and continues to put in more trails and bike lanes, which makes using a bike a viable option for getting around the city. Furthermore, as cyclists become increasingly common, Atlanta residents continue to do a better job of looking out for cyclists. Overall, Atlanta is a fairly bike-friendly city. However, like any city, Atlanta is not without its risks to cyclists.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Atlanta residents need to watch out for several common causes of bicycle accidents throughout the city. Bicycle accidents can occur due to a variety of factors, often negligence on the part of drivers who fill the roads and do not look out adequately for bicycle riders.
Drivers and passengers in cars may open their doors into cyclists.
Left-turn accidents can pose a potent danger for cyclists.
Some drivers fail to yield to cyclists, despite the fact that cyclists have the same right to use the road as other drivers.
Cyclists must choose to ignore the rules of the road (which they must follow just like drivers of larger vehicles).
Drivers may get too close to cyclists on the road, including attempting to pass them without leaving an adequate buffer.
Cyclists may weave through traffic can cause serious accidents.
The Rise of Bicycle Accidents in Atlanta
In the early 2000s, bicycle accidents started to rise alarmingly across the Atlanta area. Several factors have contributed to those growing dangers.
First, people became increasingly distracted behind the wheel. With the rise of smartphones and GPS devices, more drivers than ever struggle to keep their attention on the road. They may go on autopilot as they drive, focusing more on the devices in their hands than they do on their actual driving responsibilities. Furthermore, increased distraction can make it much harder to pick out the smaller profiles presented by the average bicycle out on the road.
Next, rising populations, especially in big cities, mean more people out on the road. Not only does it mean more bicycles on the road, it also means more congested streets, which can cause a rise in several types of accidents.
Traffic patterns also, in many cases, make safe navigation more difficult for pedestrians and cyclists than it is for drivers. Many streets have deliberate designs intended to help move traffic through as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, on those streets, pedestrians and cyclists often pay the price, with increased risk of accidents.
What Should You Do After an Atlanta Bicycle Accident?
Following an Atlanta bicycle accident, the steps you take immediately after the accident can make a big difference in your ability to recover compensation. Make sure you follow these steps to help protect yourself after an accident.
1. Report the accident immediately.
Some drivers may not want to report an accident to the police. They may fear the points on their license or the other legal repercussions of filing an accident report. Furthermore, filing a claim through the driver’s insurance company could lead to increased overall insurance costs. As a result, those drivers may pressure you to avoid an accident report.
You may think that, if you did not suffer serious, obvious injuries in the accident, you should avoid reporting the accident for the sake of the driver. However, bicycle accidents can mean severe injuries, including injuries that you may not fully notice immediately after the accident. Failure to report the accident could leave you struggling to claim compensation for those injuries later.
2. See a doctor about any potential injuries.
Obviously, if you have clear injuries, you know that you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. On the other hand, if you think that you did not suffer injuries in the bicycle accident, you may be tempted to just get up, dust yourself off, and pedal away.
Sometimes, however, serious injuries may lurk that you do not even recognize until well after the accident. You may find yourself contending with serious side effects and long-term limitations as you attempt to recover from what should have represented relatively minor injuries.
Have a doctor evaluate you for any potential injuries as soon after your accident as possible. You may find that a doctor identifies injuries you did not recognize immediately. Make sure that you listen to any recommendations made by your doctor regarding your standards and your care, including activities you should avoid or how to manage physical therapy.
3. Contact a lawyer to learn more about your rights after an accident.
A lawyer can help you determine what compensation you may deserve for your injuries, including who may bear liability for the accident and how much compensation you can ask for for bicycle accident injuries. Since it may vary depending on the extent of your injuries and the suffering you have faced in the aftermath of the accident, a lawyer can help break down your losses and the insurance policy covering the liable party.
Do you need a lawyer after suffering injuries in an Atlanta bike accident? Cambre & Associates can help. Contact us today for more information about your rights following an Atlanta bike accident, including how to pursue compensation for your injuries.