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Bicycle Versus Vehicle: Status On The Road

Bicycle riders get annoyed with car and truck drivers who honk at them and almost sideswipe the bike riders as the drivers pass. Driver and rider each think the other one is doing something wrong.

Under Georgia law, with only a few exceptions, bicycles are considered vehicles and must obey all traffic laws applicable to vehicles. Bike riders and vehicle drivers have equal responsibilities and rights when on the road. If bicyclists violate traffic laws, they will be cited even though the citation will not affect the status of their driver's licenses.

Sharing the lanes

Bicyclists have the same right to ride their bikes in the lane as drivers have to drive in it, although bicyclists legally must ride in the same direction as vehicles drive and are urged to ride as far to the right as possible. In certain circumstances, they are allowed, even urged, to "take the lane," which means to ride their bikes right down the middle of the lane.

They are legally supposed to take the lane on a two lane road when the road is too narrow for a car to safely pass the bicyclist. The idea is to make it impossible for the vehicle to try and pass the bicyclist. When it is safe for the driver to pass the rider, the rider is supposed to move as far to the right as possible.

Unfortunately, many drivers do not know this is legal and become irritated. They honk and may even try to run the bicyclist off the road. If they are caught or cause an accident, the vehicle driver will be the one at fault.

Bicyclists also can legally take the lane if there is debris, a drainage grate or other obstacle in their path or when they are making a left-hand turn.

If you are a bicyclist who was injured by a vehicle, you need the services of an Atlanta, Georgia bicycle accident attorney. There are complex laws that may apply, such as comparative negligence, last clear chance doctrine, and other legal issues that may affect the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact the Law Office Of Sidney Weinstein, 24/7, for a free accident and personal injury consultation by calling 404-522-3108. We can come to you at your home or any of the Atlanta, Georgia area hospitals including Grady Memorial Hospital and Atlanta Medical Center.

Sources: http://www.dot.ga.gov/travelingingeorgia/bikepedestrian/Documents/motorists_cyclists_sharing.pdf