Frequently Asked Questions Georgia.png
Georgia Frequently Asked Questions.png

Bicycle Collisions FAQ

You've Got Questions

1)  What is a "bicycle?"

2)  Do traffic laws apply to cyclists that use the roadways?

3)  What should a cyclist do after a crash?

4)  What are some common causes to a bicycle accident?

5)  What are some hazards to safe cycling in Georgia?

6)  Who can be held responsible for a bicycle accident?

7)  Does my car insurance cover a bicycle accident?

8)  Can I sue a public park for causing a bicycle accident?

9)  What are some safety tips for cyclists?

10)  What is an information kit for bicycles?

11)  How are cyclists supposed to signal a right turn?

12)  Is it legal for a person to ride on a bicycle’s handlebars?

13)  Should a cyclist ride with traffic or against traffic?

14)  Are cyclists required to obey traffic signs and signals?

15)  Can a cyclist be cited for a DUI?

16)  Are bicycles allowed on interstate highways?

17)  Are drivers required to yield to cyclists in bicycle lanes?

18)  How much space must a driver give a cyclist in a bicycle lane, when the driver is passing a cyclist?

19)  When are bicycle brakes considered defective?

20)  Are children required by law to wear a bicycle helmet?

21)  Is it legal to rent a bicycle to a child without also providing a helmet?

22)  Are cyclists allowed to ride two abreast in a roadway?

23)  Are cyclists allowed to ride with only one hand on the handlebars?

24)  What are common statutes that may apply to bicycle accidents?

We've Got Answers.

 

1)  What is a “bicycle?”

Georgia defines a bicycle as any device propelled by human power upon which any person may ride, having only two wheels which are in tandem and either of which is more than 13 inches in diameter.

 

This is a long and complicated way of saying a bicycle is what you expect it to be.

(Back to Top)

2)  Do traffic laws apply to cyclists that use the roadways?

 

Georgia has explicitly adopted a statute that applies traffic laws to bicycle riders.

 

So, a cyclist on the roadway can be cited for a DUI just like a driver of a motor vehicle.

(Back to Top)

3)  What should a cyclist do after a crash?

 

Immediately after a crash, a cyclist should follow the directions below:

 

  • DO obtain identifying information for the at-fault driver/person/entity (cyclists are often the victim of hit and run, so it’s important to obtain identifying information immediately)

  • DO call the police (properly documenting the scene is important to proving your case.  Law enforcement are trained to do so)

  • DON’T leave the scene (cyclists are required to follow all traffic laws, which includes remaining at a scene after a crash.  Leaving before law enforcement arrives can get you cited.)

  • DON’T repair your bike or wash/discard clothing (Reconstructing how the collision occurred is important, and the physical evidence of the damage to your bike, your own injuries, and the damage to your clothing and gear is important for that process).

(Back to Top)

4)  What are some common causes to a bicycle accident?

 

At it’s core, bicycle accidents are caused by either the driver or cyclist not treating the bicycle as another vehicle on the roadway and failing to obey traffic laws. 

 

But, that’s not the only reason. 

 

Some common causes of bicycle accidents include:

 

  • Failing to yield to a bicycle (and/or car);

  • Failing to obey stop light signals and other traffic signs;

  • Failing to provide three feet of space when passing a cyclist;

  • Riding on the wrong side of the road;

  • Debris in the roadway/bike path;

  • Pedestrians and/or dogs entering the cyclist’s lane of travel;

  • Poorly maintained and repaired roadway and/or bike path;

  • Wet leaves, pine straw, or grass clippings in the roadway/bike path;

  • Defective maintenance and repair of bicycle parts; and

  • Defective design and manufacture of bicycle parts/gear.

(Back to Top)

5)  What are some hazards to safe cycling in Georgia?

 

Georgia’s law has specifically identified and recognized some hazards to safe cycling, including:

 

  • Surface debris;

  • Rough pavement;

  • Drain grates;

  • Parked or stopped vehicles;

  • Potentially opening car doors; or

  • Any other object which threaten the safety of a cyclist.

(Back to Top)

6)  Who can be held responsible for a bicycle accident?

 

An injured cyclist may seek compensation from any one of a number of sources, depending on the cause of the bicycle accident, including:

 

  • Motor vehicle driver (for breaking any traffic law, including yielding to cyclists);

  • Pedestrian or Cyclist (if they improperly entered the cyclist’s lane of travel or otherwise unlawfully caused a collision)

  • Government Entity (responsible for keeping the road and/or bike path in good repair)

  • Property Owner (if the injury occurred from a hazard on private property)

  • Repair Facility/Technician (when the faulty repairs cause the bicycle to malfunction)

  • Product Manufacturer (when the faulty parts cause the bicycle to malfunction)

(Back to Top)

7)  Does my car insurance cover a bicycle accident?

 

You uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will cover your injuries for a motorcycle collision if it was the result of a collision with motor vehicle. 

 

This usually occurs when the at-fault driver leaves the scene and is unknown (hit and run) or when the at-fault driver’s insurance is insufficient to cover your medical bills. 

 

That’s because UM/UIM insurance covers anyone who is hurt by the negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and this includes cyclists and pedestrians.

(Back to Top)

8)  Can I sue a public park for causing a bicycle accident?

 

Georgia provides limited immunity to owners of land who make that land available to the public for recreational purpose. 

 

This means that it can be very difficult to hold a public park responsible for causing a bicycle accident.

 

Known as the Recreational Property Act, these laws are meant to encourage people to make their land and water available to the public.  But, it also means that the public uses the property at their own risk.

(Back to Top)

9)  What are some safety tips for cyclists?

 

Some helpful tips for any cyclist to help avoid collisions and minimize injury include:

 

  • Wear a helmet!

  • Obey all traffic laws

  • Wear bright, protective clothing;

  • Don’t wear headphones

  • Plan your route

  • Bring an information kit with identifying information

  • Be aware of blind spots (for you and other drivers)

  • Don’t ride after inclement weather.

(Back to Top)

10)  What is an information kit for bicycles?

 

Information kits contain information about the cyclist should they become incapacitated.  It includes their name and other identification, insurance information, and emergency contacts.

 

Sometimes, this information is included on a sticker, affixed to the bike helmet or under the seat.

(Back to Top)

11)  How are cyclists supposed to signal a right turn?

 

In Georgia, cyclists are supposed to signal a right turn with his/her right arm and hand extended horizontally.  Alternatively, cyclist can indicate a right turn with his/her left hand and arm extended upward.

 

The same rules apply when making a left turn.

 

To indicate a stop or decrease in speed, the cyclist should extend their arm and hand downward.

(Back to Top)

12)  Is it legal for a person to ride on a bicycle’s handlebars?

 

It’s illegal for a passenger to ride a bicycle on the handlebars in Georgia.  Further, it’s illegal for a bicycle to be used to transport more persons than it’s designed to carry.

(Back to Top)

13)  Should a cyclist ride with traffic or against traffic?

 

Georgia requires that cyclists ride with traffic and other vehicles on the roadway.

Cyclists are required to follow the same rules of the road as drivers or passenger vehicles.  This means traveling on the right side of the road, with traffic.

(Back to Top)

14)  Are cyclists required to obey traffic signs and signals?

 

A bicyclist is required to obey all traffic control devices such as road signs and stoplights.

 

A bicycle is considered a vehicle on the roadway and the cyclist must obey all traffic laws that would be applicable to a motor vehicle.

(Back to Top)

15)  Can a cyclist be cited for a DUI?

 

A cyclist can be cited for breaking any traffic law that applies to motor vehicles, including DUI’s.

(Back to Top)

16)  Are bicycles allowed on interstate highways?

 

In Georgia, bicycles are not allowed on controlled-access roadways, such as interstate highways.

(Back to Top)

17)  Are drivers required to yield to cyclists in bicycle lanes?

 

Georgia requires that drivers on a roadway is required to yield to cyclists in a bicycle lane on the roadway.

 

A bicycle lane is any portion of the roadway that’s been designated exclusively for bicycle use either through striping, pavement markings, signs, etc.

(Back to Top)

18)  How much space must a driver give a cyclist in a bicycle lane, when the driver is passing a cyclist?

 

A driver of a motor vehicle is statutorily required to pass a cyclist in a bicycle lane at a “safe distance.”

 

“Safe distance” is defined as atleast 3 feet.  The driver must maintain a safe distance until they have safely passed the cyclist.

(Back to Top)

19)  When are bicycle brakes considered defective?

 

If the bicycle brake, when engaged, cannot make the braked wheels skid on dry, level pavement, then brake or the wheels may be defective. 

 

Georgia law requires that the brakes be effective such that they cause the braked wheel to skid.

(Back to Top)

20)  Are children required by law to wear a bicycle helmet?

 

Any child under the age of sixteen (16) years old is required to wear a bicycle helmet when riding on any bicycle path, lane, sidewalk, or highway of Georgia.

(Back to Top)

21)  Is it legal to rent a bicycle to a child without also providing a helmet?

 

It’s illegal for a company or person to rent or lease a bicycle helmet to a child under the age of sixteen (16) without making sure the child has a helmet. 

 

A helmet can be provided to the child or the child must be in possession of a helmet of their own to the time of the rent or lease.

(Back to Top)

22)  Are cyclists allowed to ride two abreast in a roadway?

 

Cyclists are prohibited from riding more than two abreast on a Georgia roadway.  But, if the cyclists are on a bicycle path or bicycle lane, they may ride more than two abreast.

(Back to Top)

23)  Are cyclists allowed to ride with only one hand on the handlebars?

 

Georgia allows cyclists to ride with one hand, as long as they are not carrying anything which would prevent them from riding with atleast one hand.

(Back to Top)

 

24)  What are common statutes that may apply to bicycle accidents?

Some Georgia statutes that may be applicable to a bicycle collision case include:

 

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-1-1 (Definitions for Bicyclists)

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-20 (Obedience to Traffic Control Devices)

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-51 (Restrictions on Controlled Access Highway)

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-55 (Yield to Cyclists in Bicycle Lanes)

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-56  (Passing Cyclists in Bicycle Lanes)

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-77 (Serious Injuries to Bicyclists)

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-124 (Signaling a Turn or Stop)

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-125 (Method of Giving Hand and Arm Signals)

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-144 (Emerging from Alley, Building, Private Road, or Driveway)

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-290 (Effect of Regulations)

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-291 (Traffic Laws Apply to Cyclists)

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-292 (Riding on Bicycles)

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-293 (Clinging to Vehicles)

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-294 (Riding on Highways and Bicycle Paths)

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-295 (Carrying Articles)

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-296 (Lights and Other Equipment)

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-298 (Board of Public Safety Rules and Regulations)

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-390 (Reckless Driving)

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-397 (Aggressive Driving)

  • O.C.G.A. § 16-11-43 (Obstructing Highways)

(Back to Top)

FREE CASE
EVALUATION

Thanks for submitting!