Despite its notorious traffic, Atlanta can be a great city for biking. Its hills are manageable. Dedicated bike paths and bike lanes connect neighborhoods and suburbs. And best of all, there’s a serious biking community in town: riders who speak up for safer streets and better access to healthy, sustainable transportation.
If you’ve considered biking as a new means of transportation around town (or you’re just bored after two years indoors on your Peloton), May is a great time to get started. It’s National Bike Month—the perfect opportunity to celebrate, advocate or explore. Kids and parents can sign up for Bike & Roll to School Day. Employees can even try out Bike to Work Week from May 16-22.
But, before you pump up your tires and locate your lock, it’s helpful to go over bike safety basics to avoid serious accidents or injury.
Staying safe while bicycling in Atlanta
Georgia is near the middle of the pack in terms of most bike friendly states, coming in at No. 24 on the League of American Bicyclists’ rankings. Decatur, Atlanta, Roswell and Alpharetta stand out, however, as “bicycle friendly communities.” While this means the cities may have bike friendly laws, teach bicycle education in schools or dedicate a portion of their transportation budget to bicycling, there are still major road safety concerns.
Did you know that, nationwide, the vast majority of bike fatalities involve motor vehicles, according to the National Safety Council?
What can you do as a driver sharing the road with cyclist?
Drivers can do their part by being more aware of cyclists and pedestrians, leaving space and never cutting in front of a bike lane. When exiting your car, it’s always important to check to be sure there are no oncoming cyclists before opening your door.
What is my safety responsibility as a cyclist?
For bicyclists, safety centers on maintenance, awareness, visibility and experience:
- Be sure your bike is in good condition. Your tires should be properly inflated, and you should have a bell, a rear mirror and reflectors. Learn how to make minor repairs on the go.
- Always wear a helmet, no matter your age. If you’re not sure how it should fit, visit a bike shop or outdoor supply store.
- Expect that drivers won’t see you. Wear bright clothing, ride during the day and use lights at night. Always bike in the direction of traffic, use hand signals and take an extra look before making turns or crossing an intersection.
- If it’s been a bit since you last biked, consider a class. You can brush up on your skills, learn how to perform repairs and gain experience.
Biking can be a fun, healthy alternative to a daily car commute. (Our own Steve Litner may have raised a few eyebrows early in his career while biking to his very buttoned up law office!) This May, ditch the car keys for a commute, an errand or a gym run and celebrate National Bike Month safely.
Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers
If you’ve been hurt while riding your bike in Atlanta, you need a personal injury attorney who understands the challenges of crashes involving bicyclists or pedestrians. If you need help, contact the personal injury attorneys at Litner + Deganian for a free consultation.