Author: Jay Howard
Our state of Georgia has beautiful scenic views for travelers and natives alike. Better yet, a bicycle is both a convenient and environmentally-friendly way for many people who desire a dependable mode of transportation or to get some exercise. However, even the most careful bicycle rider has to share roadways with motor vehicles, which can lead to possible accidents.
If you have been in an accident while riding your bike, Tabbaa Law specializes in helping you build a strong case that will help you get the compensation you deserve. We have built a solid reputation for guiding clients through this harrowing process, maximizing results with my client-specific approach to each case. With that in mind, here are five bicycle laws that will help you avoid an accident.
Georgia Bicycle Laws in Place to Help Cyclists Avoid Accidents
Georgia has implemented a number of laws to protect cyclists, some of which are the responsibility of motorists and some the responsibility of cyclists themselves.
The “Three Feet” Law
The main Georgia law that protects bicyclists is known as the “three feet” law. Codified in Section 40 of the Georgia state law, the “three feet” rule holds that motorists must give bicyclists at least three feet of space when passing them on roadways.
An update to the law came in July 2021, requiring drivers to change lanes if traffic conditions allow them to do so. If the driver cannot change lanes, their speed must be reduced to either ten miles below the posted speed limit or 25 miles per hour, whichever is greater.
Motorists aren’t the only ones who have to follow a shifting set of requirements while using the road. When using a bicycle on the road in Georgia, bicyclists must adhere to the following requirements:
- Bicyclists must ride as near to the right of the roadway as possible while riding below the speed limit, except when passing vehicles, turning, avoiding hazards, or when riding in a bike lane that has substandard width.
- Bicyclists must ride in the same direction as the flow of traffic, even in bike lanes.
- Unless a local ordinance says otherwise, bicycle lanes are to be used only by bicyclists. However, bicyclists may also use the actual roadway, especially if there is no designated bike lane.
Additionally, drivers must yield to a bicyclist within a bike lane on the roadway.
In order to be legal, bicyclists and their bikes must have certain standard equipment. This is for both their safety and for visibility by drivers. In Georgia, bicyclists under the age of 16 must wear a helmet, but it is advisable that you wear a helmet anytime you use your bike, no matter your age. When riding at night, your bike must have a headlight and a rear reflector visible from more than 300 feet away. Lastly, your bike is required to have brakes.
Transporting Children or Others on a Bicycle
While it may seem obvious, one of the best ways to avoid a bicycle injury is to make sure that you aren’t letting others—especially children—ride on the back or front of your bike. Georgia law makes it illegal to carry another person or transport another person on your bike unless your particular bicycle is made to do so. Furthermore, children under the age of one year may not be passengers on a bicycle unless in an infant sling or in a properly affixed bicycle trailer.
Two Bicycles Per Lane
Another law is that bicyclists cannot ride more than two per side on the roadway. This is to provide plenty of space for both cyclists and motorists, should a hazard arise. This law does not pertain to roadways or paths specifically designed for bicycles, but riding in a single-file line is typically advisable when using your bike.
Work With an Experienced Georgia Personal Injury Attorney
No matter how careful you are, bicycle accidents can still happen. When these unfortunate events occur, you need a skilled Georgia personal injury attorney on your side to fight for the compensation you deserve. Tabba Law has the knowledge and skill to hold those responsible for your bicycle injury accountable for their actions. To schedule a free consultation, call our Atlanta office today at (770) 370-7881 or fill out our contact form to learn more.Bicycle Accidents