Bicycle Crowding Accidents
Motorists are required to exercise caution while driving next to and around bicyclists with whom they share the road. Unfortunately, drivers of cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles do not always follow the law and risk the lives of bicyclists. In most cases, drivers inadvertently place bicyclists in danger, such as when they fail to see bicyclists in their blind spots. Other times, motorists drive aggressively and crowd bicyclists who are lawfully using the street. If you have been injured in a bicycle crowding accident caused by a distracted, reckless, or territorial driver, our attorneys can help.Failing to Give Cyclists Adaquate Space on the Roadways
Navigating a bicycle in vehicle traffic is inherently dangerous. Motorists often fail to see bicyclists, and not all Atlanta area streets are marked clearly for bicycles, or even have adequate room for moving traffic, parked vehicles, and bicycles—yet all have the right to use the roadway. Drivers crowding bicyclists when passing is a common contributing factor in bicycle accidents. For example:
- Drivers often fail to slow down and move to the left when passing bicyclists
- Drivers often turn at the same time as bicyclists at intersections, rather than waiting for the bicyclist to proceed
- Coming upon a parking space, a driver may slow down or stop in front of a bicyclist, forcing him or her out into traffic
- Drivers sometimes speed up too quickly overcome a bicyclist, rather than slowing down as they drive past
- To avoid a pothole or other roadway defect, a driver may crowd a bicyclist rather than risk damage to his or her vehicle
To avoid dangerous situations like these, Georgia has a 3-feet safe passing law, which requires motorists to move over at least 3 feet when passing a bicyclist. The law seeks to ensure that, when passing bicycles, motor vehicles allow a safe space to avoid sideswiping bicyclists or causing them to overcorrect to avoid a vehicle.
Despite Georgia’s 3-feet safe passing law, many cars don’t make room for bicycles and even drive in bike lanes. In the most severe cases, drivers have been known to “threaten” bicyclists by unnecessarily driving close to, toward, or near them. Obviously, directing a 4,000+ pound vehicle at a person on a 20-pound bike is exceedingly dangerous, not only to the bicyclist but also other people driving on the road.Call the Legal Team at KWFDM if You Have Been Injured in a Bike Crowding Accident
Bicycle crowding accidents are likely to cause serious injuries to bicyclists, which may be difficult to overcome. For help building a strong personal injury claim, please contact that experienced cycling accident lawyers at Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall, LLC at 404-460-0101 or 888-426-2100 for your free and confidential consultation.