How to Stay Safe on a Bicycle in Georgia
Cycling is becoming increasingly popular in Georgia as well as the rest of the country. However, bicyclists are extremely vulnerable on the state’s roads. If you are on two wheels, it’s important to know how to stay safe on a bicycle in Georgia.
Georgia’s laws provide a framework for cyclists and protect them on the roads. Sadly, cyclists who follow the rules are periodically hit and hurt on a regular basis by drivers who fail to follow them.
The laws are set out in the Georgia Bicycle Law Enforcement Pocket Guide. One of the most important rules, when you are on a bicycle in Georgia, is to ride with traffic rather than facing it. Cyclists should ride on the right of the road and make turns with the traffic. There are few things more unnerving for a driver than to be confronted by an oncoming cyclist.
Another common scenario is when a driver comes across a bicyclist with no lights on at night. Riders must have a front light and red rear reflector or a backlight during the hours of darkness.
According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, about 46 percent of fatal bicycle crashes in Georgia occur in the dark, even though fewer cyclists are on the road at these times.
Cyclists who travel more slowly than other traffic on the road should stay on the right, except to pass, to make a left turn, to avoid dangers, or when a lane is too narrow to share with other vehicles.
The Georgia Bicycle Law Enforcement Pocket Guide states cyclists may leave the far right of the highway when:
- He or she is moving as fast as the rest of the traffic;
- The cyclist is passing another vehicle;
- He is making a left turn;
- The bicyclist is avoiding roadside hazards.
- When the lane is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to be side by side.
A cyclist does not require a driver’s license under Georgia law. A bike with an electric helper motor that travels under 20 mph is defined as a bicycle rather than a motorcycle.
Georgia also has rules relating to bike passengers. A passenger may not ride on a bicycle unless it is designed for two people.
Under Georgia Code Title 20, cyclists may not ride more than two abreast on roads unless they are on bicycle paths or parts of the road set aside for cyclists.
It is not mandatory for all riders to wear a bicycle helmet. A bicycle rider or passenger under 16 years of age is required to wear a bicycle helmet that is of good fit, is fastened securely, and meets a nationally recognized standard.
Cyclists in Georgia are protected by rules like Georgia’s passing law that requires drivers to give riders a three-foot buffer.
If you are on a bicycle in Georgia it’s vital to follow the rules. If you or a family member has been injured riding a bike, please call our Newnan bicycle injury attorneys at (404) 913-1529.