A 2018 Atlanta Magazine article found a 53 percent increase in bicyclist and pedestrian collisions from 2006 to 2015 in the city of Atlanta. During that same period of time, there was a 26 percent increase in bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities. The state of Georgia ranks 7th out of 50 for states with the most bicycling and walking fatalities, and 47th out of 50 for the highest percentage of bicyclists and pedestrians in the United States.
The reason for the high number of bicycle fatalities is linked primarily to distracted drivers, but there is another, more insidious reason why the state of Georgia has a high number of bicycle accidents. This reason lies in the fact that people are biking on streets initially designed with one goal in mind: speed. The director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition says Atlanta streets, as of 2018, were dangerous to bikers by design.
The Atlanta Regional Commission took this to heart, following the lead of more than 20 cities across the country in an effort to make the city’s streets more friendly to bicyclists and pedestrians. The goal of the Commission was to reduce the number of bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities to zero by 2030. The methods for achieving this goal meant tightening lanes on some roads to make room for bicyclists, adding lighting, wider sidewalks, and attractive medians to act as a “safe haven” for those crossing a wide state road.
Where Do Most Bicycle Accidents Occur in Atlanta?
Atlanta’s Transportation Plan shows that the majority of bicycle accidents in the city of Atlanta occur on the following streets: Howell Mill Road, Monroe Drive, DeKalb Avenue, Piedmont Road, and Peachtree. It also includes many of the roads and streets in predominantly low-income parts of town.
In fact, just 6 percent of the city’s 2,000 miles of roads were responsible for 71 percent of all traffic-related fatalities. These streets will be the primary focus of improvements over the next decade.
There has also been a slow conversion of abandoned railroad tracks into bicycle paths, as Atlanta begins to invest in infrastructure that will make the city safe for bicyclists.
Unfortunately, making protected bicycle lanes is not easy or cheap. A protected bike lane can run from $30,000 to $400,000 per mile. This makes it difficult to put into budget projections, which is why policymakers have trimmed these costs for years. Now, these infrastructure investments must be made to save lives.
Types of Bicycle Accidents
The most dangerous type of bicycle accident is when a motor vehicle hits a bicyclist. The bicyclist has no protection, other than a bicycle helmet if worn. Because of this, the injuries suffered by bicyclists hit by vehicles are often serious, or even catastrophic. Bicyclists can also have accidents with other bicyclists, but this is rare, and the injuries are likely much less serious.
Bicycle accidents are sometimes caused by dangerous road conditions since two thin wheels make bicyclists more susceptible to such things as potholes, loose gravel, rain, snow, sleet, broken glass, uncovered manholes, oil, or other slippery substances, or rocks in the roadways.
Certain accidents caused by dangerous road conditions could be the fault of a government entity responsible for maintaining the roads. When a bicyclist is hit by a vehicle, the driver of the vehicle is generally at fault, and his or her insurance company must pay for the damages. These damages can include: Past, present, and future medical bills associated with the accident; Rehabilitative therapies necessary after the accident; Lost wages, both current and future; Disfigurement; Pain and suffering, and Loss of consortium or enjoyment of life.
Punitive damages could be applicable if the driver showed a wanton disregard for the safety of the bicyclist. If you are the victim of a bicycle accident in Atlanta, it is important that you contact an experienced bicycle accident attorney who will ensure your rights and your future are properly protected.
Contact Our Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love suffered an injury in a bicycle accident in Atlanta or anywhere in the state of Georgia, we want to be the first – and the last call you need to make. Our lawyers know how to get maximum compensation for our injured bicycle accident clients and it shows. Let our experienced team of Atlanta bicycle accident lawyers support you through this difficult time. We will handle the legal burdens, so you can focus on your recovery. Call 404-587-8946 or fill out our confidential contact form. Just call and JUST WIN.