Atlanta is trying to redeem its name in the eyes of bicyclists. Up to 5 percent of its roadways were repainted with bike lanes (for a total of 84 miles for bicyclists). And now with the impending launch of the Atlanta bike share program, currently only in place in major bike-friendly cities such as Boston and Portland, bicyclists can feel safe and accepted.
Unfortunately, however, that launch has been delayed until at least the summer of 2016. The bike share plan is still in place, though, and the expectation is that 500 bikes for bike rentals will be available at over 50 stations across the city. The planning commission, which was difficult to fill and part of the reason for the delays, wants to be certain that the bikes are seen as tools for residents rather than tourists and that proper attention is paid to the location of stations and payment kiosks as well as helmet vending options.
Atlanta has had a difficult time learning to share the roads, but all of the steps the city is making are positive. Since the Alliance for Biking & Walking named Georgia the 45th state in the nation for bike safety in 2012, improvements have been and continue to be made. Nevertheless, there is room for more work to be done. And those improvements can start with bicyclists and drivers respecting and paying attention to each other.
What causes bicycle accidents?
Most bike accidents happen as a result of drivers not regarding the rights of bicyclists on the road or bicyclists not following the rules of the road. Accident causes can include:
- Drivers veering into or turning into the bike lanes without checking for bikes
- Drivers making sudden turns or lane changes in front of a bicyclist without checking for them
- Drivers texting or driving while impaired
- Distracted biking
- Bicyclists traveling against, not with, traffic
- Drivers not seeing a bicyclist, can be due to inattention, a bicyclist not being visible enough, etc
- Bicyclists making turns without using proper hand signals to warn the following driver about their maneuver
- Drivers opening doors into bike lanes
Regardless of the cause, when a car accident happens, there is no doubt that the injuries can be severe and the impact on family significant. Remember to always wear a helmet and if you or someone you care about are involved in a car vs. bicycle accident, contact attorney Jason R. Schultz at 404-474-0804.