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Georgia Bicycle Safety

In Georgia, a bicycle is a "vehicle" that must obey all applicable traffic laws that apply to “vehicles”, as opposed to laws that specifically apply only to "motor vehicles." Whether you are a cyclist or a motorist, read on to learn more about Atlanta and Georgia laws that apply specifically to bicycles, as well as some general safety tips to avoid serious or deadly bicycle accidents.

Can bicycles ride on the street or the sidewalk?

Bicycles are not allowed on sidewalks and are actually required to ride in the street. This law applies whether there is a designated bike lane in the street or not. Some municipalities make exceptions for younger cyclists. For instance, in Atlanta, children 12 years old or younger are permitted to ride their bikes on the sidewalk.

Should bicycles ride on the shoulder?

Cyclists are allowed to ride on a paved shoulder, but they are not required to and may lawfully ride in a lane of traffic, even where a paved shoulder is present.

In which direction should cyclists ride?

Bicycles should always travel in the same direction as the traffic. In other words, ride on the right-hand side of the road, just as cars do.

Can bicycles take up a whole lane of traffic?

Sometimes. Georgia law generally requires cyclists to ride as near to the right of the road as possible, which would allow a car to occupy the same lane when passing the cyclist. However, there are many circumstances when a bicycle may ride in the center of a lane and temporarily occupy that lane. These situations include:

  • The cyclist is turning left
  • In order to avoid hazards such as debris in the road, rough pavement, drain grates, or parked or stopped cars
  • When the lane is too narrow to share with a motor vehicle
  • When the cyclist is traveling at the same speed as the surrounding motor vehicle traffic
  • When passing a vehicle with due care
  • If the cyclist is riding straight through an intersection, and the right lane is a right turn-only lane
When must motorists yield to bicycles, and vice versa?

If there is a designated bicycle lane in the roadway, a motor vehicle driver must yield to a bicyclist in the bicycle lane. If there is no bicycle lane, the driver is required to leave a safe distance between the car and bike while passing the cyclist. What amounts to a "safe distance" may vary according to the given circumstances, but the driver must keep at least three feet from the bicycle in all cases. This is a common issue that our Atlanta bike accident lawyers deal with, and it often requires a thorough investigation of facts and witness testimony.

Tips for Motorists and Cyclists

Motorists - Driving with the intent to annoy, harass or obstruct a cyclist is a misdemeanor offense of aggressive driving. Driving with reckless disregard for a cyclist's safety is a misdemeanor offense of reckless driving. You could be fined or jailed for such behavior, and also subject to civil liability for any injury you cause to a cyclist.

Cyclists - Laws against reckless driving, driving under the influence and even vehicular homicide apply to riders of bicycles as "vehicles," although the penalties may be different from those applied to drivers of motor vehicles.

Motorists - Be aware of the presence of bicycles on the road and don't be overly aggressive in your attempts to pass them. Don't pass a cyclist and then immediately make a right-hand turn, as you will likely cause the cyclist to crash into you. Also, be careful not to yield the right-of-way to a cyclist when you have the right-of-way. Traffic accidents can best be avoided when motorists and cyclists alike obey the rules of the road and take the right-of-way when it belongs to them.

Cyclists - Ride visibly and predictably. Use appropriate hand signals and constantly scan the road for potential sudden vehicular maneuvers which could cause an accident.

Help is Available for Georgia Bicycle Accidents

The attorneys at Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall, LLC understand the dangers you face everyday as a cyclist, and we know that all the care in the world may not be able to keep you safe from a negligent or aggressive driver. If you have been injured in a Georgia bicycle accident, please call our office in Atlanta at 404-460-0101 or 888-426-2100 to speak with a lawyer about obtaining compensation for your injuries and expenses.

Client Reviews
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I was in a head-on collision last year that put me in a wheelchair with a fractured femur. I needed an attorney and my cousin recommended this firm because he had used Briant Mildenhall for his accident. I was glad I called Briant because he always did what he said he would do and kept me informed. We settled with the insurance company and I'm happy with the result. If someone I know needs an attorney, I will tell them to call Briant because he will get the job done. Michael G.
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After a head–on collision I had extremely serious injuries to my back and neck, and some internal injuries. I was airlifted to the hospital and started a huge amount of medical expenses accumulating. I hired a lawyer recommended by a friend but I was not satisfied. My cousin told me about this firm so I talked to Briant Mildenhall about handling the case. I was at ease from the get–go. Briant kept me informed all the way through, was always reassuring and did everything he said he would do. He helped us get the money we needed to get the treatment we needed. Briant was fantastic! Ronda W. (Car Accident)
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I was in a car accident that was complicated from the start. I looked on the internet and called a few different lawyers but they turned me down after they heard my story. When I called this firm Lyn Dodson asked me to talk to her in person. I met with Lyn and Rob Katz and after hearing my story they were confident I had a case. They vigorously pursued my case and over time we built a trusting relationship. Lyn even took time to help me with the traffic issues and other aspects of the case. They were always on my side and talked to me about the advantages and disadvantages of my options... Robert W. (Car Accident)
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After my car accident, I was looking for an attorney and came across the name Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall LLC. My intuition told me to call. I called in and Briant Mildenhall talked to me. He was very clear and honest about my options. As the case went forward, Briant and the staff at the law office always answered my questions right away. I was very confident in Briant's legal ability. He kept me informed every step of the way. I would recommend Mr. Mildenhall and the firm to anyone who needs an attorney. Antonio J. (Car Accident)
★★★★★
I would recommend the law firm of Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall LLC. Lyn Dodson was my attorney after my auto accident. I had confidence in her legal abilities and experience. She did a very good job for me. She was always there to answer the many questions I asked. The firm is very professional. Lyn always gave you her undivided attention. The firm, especially Lyn, worked with you like a long time friend. Joe B. (Auto Accident)
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I am 100% satisfied. I called Rob the day after the accident. Everything he said that would happen did, every step of the way. He went beyond what we needed him to do. I would definitely use him again and recommend him to anyone who needs a lawyer. Steve H.
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Robert Katz isn't your average personal injury lawyer. He has specialized knowledge and experience that the others don't. Timothy W. (Trucking Accident)
★★★★★
I have nothing but good and positive things to say about Rob. One of the unique things about my case was that I was involved in a bicycle accident with another biker. He took an unorthodox case between two bicycle riders and he could see the logic and liability in it. I was very happy with the result. Rodney H. (Bicycle Accident)
★★★★★
We just loved him to death. He acted like he cared about us, not just our case. He kept us posted on everything. He even called us on Sundays to update us. My case involved a rear-end collision where I had herniated disks and I had had a prior back injury. Complicated as it was, we were very happy with the outcome. Kathy H. (Car accident)
★★★★★
Throughout the course of my case, Mr. Katz kept me informed about its status, returned my telephone calls and was very attentive to my needs and concerns. Simply put, he cared not just about my case, but about me. Joseph B.
★★★★★
I was, and still am, extremely satisfied with Rob's work and with the outcome of my case. Rob strives to be there for his clients, and I was no exception...I would happily recommend Rob to anyone who is seeking legal assistance after suffering a severe injury. Joey E.
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