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Know Your Cycling Rights

Football has received a lot of attention in recent headlines for its role in head and brain injuries, but you may be surprised to learn that bicycling is actually the number one cause of athletic head traumas. Not only are there more accidents in cycling, the traumas sustained are much more severe.

According to a 2009 study by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, bicycle accidents account for more head injuries than either football or baseball combined. This staggering fact should be enough to examine further the cause of these wrecks and how they can be prevented.

Bicycle accidents are largely due to the lack of helmet use by riders and the close proximity to dangerous roadways in riding. It is important to always make sure you are wearing the proper protective headgear to prevent the awful consequences of a head or brain injury. Whether cycling for entertainment, transportation, or a cause, it is also necessary to know your state traffic laws and be aware of the risks associated with biking close to traffic.

Some of the important laws applicable to drivers and bikers in Georgia include:

  • The operator of a motor vehicle shall yield to a person operating a bicycle in the bicycle lane.
  • When overtaking a bicycler, the driver of a motor vehicle shall leave a safe distance of at least three feet and maintain such clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle.
  • Any person riding a bicycle shall ride in the same direction as traffic on the roadway.
  • Only children aged 12 and under, are allowed to ride bicycles on the sidewalk. All others must use the bicycle-safe roadway lane.

Many drivers aren’t aware of the rules in sharing the roadway with bicycles, and their lack of knowledge can ultimately cause accidents. Distracted drivers may merge into the special bikers only lane, cut off cyclists, or back out of a driveway without paying attention. Cyclers may be entitled to receive compensation for injuries received. Know your rights before you get on the bike, and always wear a helmet.