Georgia is not a friendly state for cyclists. Every year, about 16 riders die on the highways of the Peach State. Cycling can be increasingly dangerous when mornings and evenings are darker in the winter which is another reason why you should cycle with your lights on.

While Georgia is not the most dangerous state for cycling, a study by Governing highlights it as the 22nd most dangerous in the nation with 1.7 cycling deaths per million residents.

Florida is the most dangerous state in the country for cycling deaths. About 110 cyclists lose their lives every year and it has a death rate of 5.7 bicyclists per million people.

If you are getting on your bike as the sun goes down or is coming up, you should make yourself as visible as possible. Make sure your bike has front and back lights and they are on. You should also wear a helmet and bright colored clothing.

Why you should cycle with your lights on

cycle with your lights on at night

Nationally about 45,000 bike injuries are reported every year. Nearly half of these occur in the evening. About 22 percent of injuries occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. In 2015, 818 people died in accidents between bikes and other vehicles, a 6 percent rise in deaths since 2006, according to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. The figure was a massive 12.2 percent up on the previous year.

Although the number of people injured riding bicycles every year fell slightly, the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center states many people fail to report cycling accidents. As many as 90 percent of injuries go unreported to the police.

If you are riding in the dark, you should have a flashing or blinking rear red light. These lights are very distinct and will help you stand out. You should also be riding in the direction of traffic if you are on the road.

Talk about lighting options at your local bike shop. If it’s getting dark and you don’t have lights, you should get off the road.

If you are struck by a car, an SUV, or a truck while riding with lights at night, you have rights. More than five years ago, Georgia signed a bill that requires motorists to give you a buffer of at least three feet.

When passing a cyclist, make sure the coast is clear and give the rider plenty of room. On occasions, cyclists behave unpredictably and veer into the road.

If you were hurt in a cycling accident, call the Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.