Bicycle accidents in Atlanta are often very different from collisions involving other types of vehicles. For instance, bicyclists are more exposed to the impact of a crash and have a greater potential to be thrown from their seats, whereas someone operating a motor vehicle does not have that same exposure, especially if they are wearing a seat belt.
Understanding the dynamics of Atlanta bicycle accidents can be crucial not only to surviving these kinds of incidents with minimal injuries, but also strengthening any civil case that follows. Talking to a seasoned bicycle collision attorney could be helpful if you are unsure about how to proceed with a case following your accident experience.
Unique Aspects of Bicycle Accidents
Many cyclists operate their bikes primarily on sidewalks, which often have cracked or uneven pavement that can lead to bicycle crashes. Since sidewalks are specifically designed for pedestrians, they are not safe for bicyclists traveling at higher speeds over driveways, ruts in the roads, or areas with varying grades of sidewalks. Sidewalk riding also makes bike riders vulnerable to cars pulling out of parking lots and driveways, the drivers of which may not see an oncoming bicyclist until it is too late to avoid hitting them.
The safest place for bicycle riding is typically on the street, where cyclists must adhere to the flow of traffic and follow the same rules as motorists. However, motor vehicle operators often fail to pay attention specifically to bicyclists and pedestrians around them.
Especially at intersections or while making a turn, a driver’s visibility may be limited, thereby inhibiting their reaction time to any unexpected hazards. Additionally, according to some studies, cyclists that travel against the flow of traffic are almost four times more likely to be involved in an incident than those traveling with traffic.
What Differentiates Biking Collisions from Pedestrian Accidents?
Biking collisions happen more frequently than pedestrian accidents, in large part because bicycles can be operated on roadways and highways which may be crowded by other motorists, especially if there are not designated bike lanes. Comparatively, pedestrians often enjoy dedicated walkable spaces like sidewalks and crosswalks that they typically do not share with cars.
Because of these designated areas, a typical pedestrian is also not susceptible to roadway hazards like potholes, ruts, and debris. From an overarching design and engineering standpoint, bicyclists simply face different hazards than pedestrians, which usually leads to more accidents for the former compared to the latter.
Understanding Bicycle Accident Dynamics is Key in Atlanta Civil Courts
The scene of a bicycle crash is usually very different from that of a motor vehicle collision, primarily because the design of a bike is markedly different from that of the typical car. The difference in exposure to external hazards also has a significant impact on the kinds of injuries that cyclists sustain—because somebody riding a bicycle is closer to the ground, they are more susceptible to getting hit by other vehicles and more susceptible to concussions, paraplegia, or even death.
Since bicycles do not have the luxury of airbags or other safety features commonly found in motor vehicles, understanding the dynamics of Atlanta bicycle accidents can be crucial to protecting both your physical health and your legal right to civil recovery. For more information or to schedule a consultation about your potential claim, call an experienced bicycle accident lawyer today.