Under Georgia traffic laws, bicyclists must abide by many of the same rules as motor vehicles. Violating these bicycle rules of the road could put you at risk of causing an accident and suffering serious injury.
If you violated bicycle road rules and sustained injury in an accident, you may have barred your rights to recover compensation.
Georgia's Bicycle Laws for Riding Near or On Roads
Georgia traffic laws consider a bicycle to be a vehicle while on the road. This means bicyclists must follow the rules for traffic signals and stop signs as well as yield to merging traffic. Bicyclists must also use the bike lane if one is available, and if riding in the regular road lane, cannot ride with more than two bikes side-by-side.
Some special rules apply to bicycle riders, especially when attempting to ride with more than one person. You may only have multiple passengers on a single bicycle if there is an actual seat for each one. This means you can have two people on a tandem bike, or a child in an enclosed bike-towable stroller, but not a second person riding seated on handlebars or standing on rear wheel pegs.
Bicyclists also have to follow some special rules for safety equipment. If you are riding at night, you must have an illuminated white light on the front and a red reflector on the rear. Bicyclists and bicycle passengers under the age of 16 must wear a DOT-compliant bicycle helmet at all times.
Consequences of Violating Georgia Bicycle Laws
Aside from any legal repercussions such as fines that may come from violating these laws, neglecting these bicycle rules can also raise the risk of accidents and subsequent injuries. After an accident, an insurer must investigate its cause; any bike rules violations it finds may reduce your settlement.
Even if the car hit you, it does not mean the driver was at fault for the accident. For example, if you failed to obey a traffic light and rode through a red light and into oncoming traffic, you will be at fault for the accident. An investigation can also find both you and the driver were at fault for the accident, such as if you ran the red light but the driver was speeding.
Remember that Georgia's comparative negligence 50 percent bar rule only allows you to be 49 percent at fault for the accident, even though, as stated above, your percentage of fault will decrease your settlement.
It is imperative that you have evidence to prove the driver's negligence was greater than your own in causing the accident. Make sure you obtain the contact information for any witnesses to the crash and a copy of the police report, as these types of evidence are invaluable when it comes to proving fault.
Brauns Law Helps Bicycle Accident Claims Settle Fairly
A fair settlement is an important part of recovering from a bicycle accident. If you were partially at fault for the accident, you need strong evidence and a legal advisor to negotiate your settlement with the insurance companies. Gwinnett County bicycle accident attorney David Brauns is here to help.
Contact Brauns Law at 404-418-8244 to discuss your rights to recovery.