Bicycling is a freeing, fun, and healthy activity. It can also occasionally be a convenient mode of transportation, too. That is why millions of Georgia residents take to the road on their bicycles each year. However, whenever cyclists are sharing the road with drivers, there is risk involved. It is important for both cyclists and motor vehicle drivers on the roads in Kennesaw and Acworth this summer to be cautious, and to respect the right of way.
Right of Way Laws for Cyclists
Generally speaking, cyclists have the same right to use a roadway as motor vehicle drivers. Some drivers assume that roads are meant for automobiles, and get annoyed when cyclists are on the road. They are simply wrong. In turn, some cyclists jet onto sidewalks and breeze through intersections as though there are no rules that apply to them. They are also wrong. Cyclists must follow the “rules of the road” applicable to them as outlined by Title 40, Chapter 6 of the Georgia Code.
It can be dangerous when drivers fail to respect the right of cyclists to use the roads or when cyclists neglect to follow the law. Cyclists and Vehicle drivers each have a duty to follow the law and act with reasonable care. If either a cyclist or motorist fails to use reasonable care to avoid a collision or violates a rule of the road, they can be considered at-fault in an accident.
The basic duty for cyclists when they are on a roadway is outlined by O.C.G.A. § 40-6-294, which states, “every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, except when turning left or avoiding hazards to safe cycling.” Therefore, when using a roadway, cyclists have the right of way to use the right side of the roadway, and also have the right of way to move into the left lane if they are turning or avoiding a hazard.
Just like motor vehicle drivers, cyclists must adhere to traffic signals and stop signs. Cyclists must also yield to pedestrians that are crossing at a crosswalk. Cyclists are generally prohibited from using the sidewalks under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-144, unless they are under the age of 12.
Popular Locations for Cycling in Kennesaw and Acworth
When going for a road-ride, cyclists should take time to plan their routes safely. Congested city streets should be navigated with patience and care, and avoided altogether if possible. And while it can be relaxing to go on long rides on country highways, narrow two-lane highways should be avoided if they don’t have an ample shoulder.
The safest option for cyclists is to ride on paths and trails that are off-limits to motorized vehicles. Of course, it is still important for cyclists to exercise reasonable care to avoid collisions with pedestrians and each other when they ride on bike paths or trails.
- To view the Kennesaw trail system, click here.
- To see trails located in Acworth, Georgia, click here.
- If you want to get out there for a longer ride, click here to view more extensive bike paths and trails that are in the greater Atlanta area.
What to Do if You Are in a Cycling Accident
If you are in a cycling accident, it is important to stay calm and prioritize the immediate health and safety of cyclists involved. This means cyclists should get themselves and their bicycles off the road or pathway to prevent any more harm from occurring. Whether an accident involves a motor vehicle, a pedestrian, or another cyclist, it is important to stay on the scene and exchange contact information with the other party if an injury occurs. If a collision was serious, the police should be called. It is legally required for motorists to contact police if they are in an accident that causes injury.
Details about the accident should be documented. If an accident causes personal injury, you should contact the local personal injury attorneys at Williams Elleby, to investigate your case. Personal injury victims harmed by the negligence of someone else are entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For more information or to discuss your case, contact Williams Elleby, today at 833-LEGALGA.