Effective on July 1, motorists must adhere to a new law that aims at keeping bicyclists safer and preventing accidents involving these vulnerable road users.
If you are a motorist in the metro Atlanta region, you must know of the new 3-feet law that recently went into effect. The law specifically requires motorists to maintain a minimum distance between their car and a bicyclist riding next to them. The law requires that motorists maintain a minimum of 3 feet in distance between their car and the bicycle next to their vehicle. Keeping a greater distance between a cyclist and a motor vehicle can help prevent unnecessary accidents on the roads.
Drivers under the new law are required to move over onto the next lane while passing a bicyclist if it is safe to do so. If this is not possible, the law requires motorists to drop speeds to 10 mph below the speed limit when they are around a bicyclist, or at least 25 mph. Maintaining 3 feet of distance around the bicyclist all the time is key.
Looking for bicyclists is a key responsibility of any motorist in Atlanta. In fact, this responsibility becomes even more serious over the next few months as we see bicycling and motoring traffic reach pre-pandemic numbers. Another key aspect in keeping bicyclists safer in Georgia is avoiding cell phones while driving. Distraction is a key factor in bicycle accidents, and motorists who are distracted while driving are at a higher risk of hitting a passing bicyclist.
Avoid using your cell phone while driving. Research has shown that even a few seconds of distraction in the time it takes to read a text message is more than sufficient to cause an accident. Bicyclists are some of the most at-risk users of our roads. They have very little protection that can cushion them against the risk of serious injuries in an accident. In fact, a bicyclist may be protected only by a helmet in an accident. Even this may not be sufficient to protect against moderate head trauma. Apart from head trauma, a bicyclist can suffer serous spinal inures when he is thrown off the bicyclist and lands on hard asphalt. Many of these injuries can be serious or even fatal.
Survivors may require months of hospitalizations, therapy and rehabilitation for them to return to their lives after the injury. Catastrophic injuries like brain trauma or spinal injuries have life–long repercussions and the victim’s ability to lead a normal life may be severely disrupted. Filing a claim for damages can help survivors and their families cope with some of the financial struggles that are inevitable after an accident.
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a bicycle accident, it is important that you talk to an experienced bicycle accident attorney to determine if you have legal options to a claim for compensation. You may qualify for damages that include medical costs, lost income, lost future earning capacity and other types of damages. Talk to an attorney at our firm and determine if you have legal rights to a claim.