What To Do When Hit By An Automobile While Riding Your Bicycle

by The Brown Firm

Riding a bicycle has so many advantages, but it can be dangerous as well. 

Using a bicycle for your daily commute is good exercise, eco-friendly, and you don't get stuck in traffic jams.

It is also a fun recreational activity that many people enjoy.

However, drivers overlook cyclists all too often. 

Cities have painted specific lanes just for cyclists to ride in.

According to Georgia Law, motor vehicles have to yield to those riding a bicycle in the bike lane. They also have to stay at least three feet back from the bicycle or three feet to the side when passing. The safe way for a car to pass a bike rider is to allow three feet between them meaning the vehicle will have to cross the yellow line which is legal in this case as long as oncoming traffic is all clear and safe to do so. 

If drivers follow these particular laws, then it will keep cyclists' safe and make sharing the road not a problem at all. 

It is important to understand that bicycles count as vehicles on the road as well so they do not have to ride in bike lanes. Bike riders can ride in bike lanes, on the shoulder of the road, and in regular driving lanes. 

Riders must follow safety laws no matter where they choose to ride and drivers must follow the important safety rules along with traffic laws to ensure they safely driving. 

Unfortunately, most people are running behind or are distracted when driving. A lot of people talk on their phones, eat and even do their makeup while driving making the road a dangerous place especially for a cyclist. 

It is hard to spot a cyclist when the driver is barely paying attention anyway.

Although it is not the cyclist fault, it is all the more important for them to be proactive about their own safety.

Wearing bright colors and have lights really helps with visibility. 

As you can imagine the dangers of being the smallest means of transportation on the road, what do you do if you are ever in an accident?

Steps to take when a Bicycle and an Automobile collide in Georgia:

  1. Get medical treatment if needed.
  2. Take pictures of the accident; location, car, bike, injuries, time of day, and weather. 
  3. Report accident. It is no different than any other automobile accident; you need to have police documentation of the accident for insurance reasons. 
  4. Leave your bike in the same position it was in when you were hit until the officer can see it. 
  5. Get the officers business card.
  6. Keep a picture of what your bike look like before the accident, so the damages are obvious. 
  7. Get witness information and statements. 
  8. Do not talk to an insurance company or negotiate with the driver. 
  9. Get the drivers information such as their name, contact, and insurance information. 
  10. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney right away.

 Bicycle Riding Safety Tips

  1. Always ride with your cell phone on you. 
  2. Carry insurance information with you. 
  3. Wear helmet, elbow and knee pads, and protective riding gloves. 
  4. Proper footwear is important. 
  5. Ride in designated bicycle lanes if provided.
  6. Be aware of vehicles blind spots. 
  7. Obey traffic signals especially stop signs and stop lights. 
  8. Use proper signals as a cyclist letting those around you know your next move.
  9. Have a white light mounted on the front of your bike and a red light on the back of your bike (this is the law for night time driving but helpful on cloudy days or shaded areas).
  10. Wear bright clothing.
  11. Have reflectors on your clothing when riding in the evening or at night. 
  12. Have regular maintenance done on your bike. 

Signals Bike Riders need to use:

Turn Left: holding your left arm out horizontally

Turn Right: holding your right arm out horizontally or using your left arm upward (making the letter L)

Slowing down or stopping: left arm bent downward 

Sadly, not all people follow these safety tips. About 2% of auto accidents fatalities are bicyclists. It has been documented that 50 percent of bicycle head injuries can be prevented from cyclists wearing helmets

Riders 16 and under must wear a helmet by law. Their helmet must fit properly and follow nationally recognized standards.

For further information on Riding in Georgia read the Bicycling Pocket Guide.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© The Brown Firm | Attorney Advertising

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The Brown Firm

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