Riding a bicycle is a fun and efficient way to get around Atlanta. The commute in our city is one of the most expensive in the United States, which is calculated by factors like vehicle costs, gas, and the amount of time spent in traffic. That’s why choosing to ride a bike is a more cost effective and economic way to get to work or get around the city.
The Atlanta Transportation Plan aims to increase the amount of people using public transit and bicycles for their commute from 17% to at least 35% in the coming years. Atlanta currently has infrastructure to support an increase in cyclists on the road, but vehicles need to respect bikers and share the road, but unfortunately, collisions still happen. An Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer can help you recover when the collision wasn’t your fault and caused injuries and other damages to you and your bike.
At Bey & Associates, our experienced attorneys are here to represent you through your legal claim and ensure that you get the justice you deserve. We’ll fully investigate the cause of your bicycle accident to determine who was at fault and who should be held accountable for your injuries. That way, we can recover financial compensation for the costs you incurred.
Safe Spots to Bike in Atlanta
Our city has bike lanes and other features in place meant to make it easier and safer to ride a bike through the streets. In 2018, Atlanta was named a Bicycle Friendly Community by The League of American Bicyclists, which means that we met the criteria for ridership, safety, education, enforcement, and other factors. This rating is good, and the city has plans to even further improve the safety for cyclists in Atlanta.
To help make it easier to find the easiest and safest biking routes in the city, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition created a map. You can find the map here, where it codes the easiest roads for biking in blue, medium difficult roads in yellow, and the most difficult roads to bike in orange. Here are the qualifications for the roads with the lowest difficulty to bike:
- Alternates to main roads
- Slow speed traffic
- Low traffic volumes
- Wide lanes, bikeable shoulders, and visible bike lanes
- Few merge lanes, right turn lanes, commercial driveways, or on-street parking
The streets with higher difficulty ratings are also based around the qualifications, but have increasing speeds of traffic, higher traffic volumes, smaller shoulders, and more lanes that could become hazards for bikers. That’s why it’s important to plan your route before biking to your destination—you can use resources like this map to choose the safest and least difficult roads to bike on so you are comfortable on your commute.
Atlanta Bike Accident Facts
Even though there are safe areas and bike lanes in the city, some cyclists still feel unsafe while biking around Atlanta. According to the Atlanta Transportation Plan (ATP) mentioned above, 65% of bicyclists feel unsafe sharing the road with traffic because of the speed of the vehicles. Just because cyclists have safer areas to ride doesn’t mean that the drivers of cars are paying attention or respecting them.
The city has over 1,500 miles of roadways, and most fatal bicycle accidents happened on only six percent of those roads. Some of the parts of the city that are most dangerous for cyclists in Atlanta are the Westside, Downtown, Midtown, Decatur Street, and DeKalb Avenue, as they have the highest numbers of crash events between vehicles and bicyclists.
The ATP identifies these streets and areas as the most dangerous for cyclists, which are all part of the High Injury Network. According to the report, the High Injury Network contains the streets where most fatal and injury-causing accidents occur, as well as where there are higher concentrations of vulnerable street users, like pedestrians and bicyclists.
One of the main factors that includes an area into the High Injury Network is whether or not the area is served by public transportation. Without easy access to public transit, people are more likely to walk or bike, which increases their presence on the road. If the area doesn’t have access to public transit, it also isn’t likely to have infrastructure like bike lanes, which leads to more bike accidents.
Even though bike lanes and other infrastructure to increase the safety and accessibility for bicyclists exist in the city, bike accidents still happen. Let’s take a look at the causes of bicycle accidents that our Atlanta bicycle accident lawyers commonly see.
What Causes Bicycle Accidents?
Even if you take all the safety precautions before getting on your bike and choose the safest bike routes, you still might be the victim of a bicycle accident. According to the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Bicycle Safety Action Plan, nearly 6,000 bicycle accidents happened in our state between 2005 and 2015. These crashes caused nearly 4,500 injuries and killed 63 people.
In order to try to prevent collisions between cars and bicycles, it’s important to look at what caused the accidents. Here are some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents:
- Driver Inattention. Distracted drivers can cause accidents between themselves and other vehicles, but they can also cause accidents with bicyclists. When drivers don’t pay attention and watch for riders on bikes, they could cut them off, collide with them, or open their door and cause a dooring accident. Intersections are especially dangerous for bicyclists when drivers don’t pay attention because left and right turns can easily turn into deadly collisions.
- Speeding. When drivers are speeding, it decreases the amount of time they have to react in a situation, which can lead to accidents. When bicyclists are involved, this can be especially fatal for them because being hit on a bike by a vehicle at a high speed causes serious injuries.
- Tight Spaces. Tight roads without bike lanes limit the space between bikes and vehicles. While cars on tight roads should treat bicyclists as another vehicle, sometimes they try to pass the bike and end up clipping the bicycle or person riding it.
- Road Conditions. Whether the road has potholes, is deteriorating, or the weather isn’t favorable, if road conditions make it harder to drive a car, they also make it harder to ride a bike. This can cause collisions between the two.
- Traffic Signals. Sometimes traffic lights and other signs aren’t conducive to bicyclists, or they malfunction and cause a traffic miscommunication. This can lead to collisions between cars and bikes because while either are trying to follow the traffic signals, their paths still cross and they collide.
In over half of the accidents reported above, the bicyclist was who fault was assigned to. This shows that it’s important for a cyclist to hire an Atlanta bicycle accident attorney after a collision with a vehicle so they can ensure their rights are protected and the accident is fully investigated.
Common Bike Accident Injuries
While biking is a fun and active way to travel in the city year-round, it’s important to consider the potential injuries that can happen when a car collides with you on your bike. Since your body is more exposed on a bicycle, you could suffer from more serious harm in a collision compared to the driver or passengers in a regular sized vehicle.
Let’s take a look at the injuries that bicycle accident attorneys often see in their cases:
- Bruises and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Head injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
With the help of an Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer, you could receive compensation for the injuries and damages you suffered from your collision. Costs like medical bills, medication costs, and lost wages could all be recovered when you trust one of our attorneys to help you through your claim.
Reach Out To Our Firm for Help
At Bey & Associates, we understand that you want to be able to focus on physically and emotionally healing after a crash on a bike. That’s where we come in. Our bicycle accident attorney will handle the legal side of things so you can focus on recovery and getting back to your normal life.
Reach out to our office today so we can get started on your claim. You deserve to be compensated for your losses.