Every year, serious bicycle crashes cost over $23 billion. Misinformation contributes to this high total. Bicycle helmets are a good example. When drivers see helmeted riders, drivers subconsciously think the riders could survive crashes. Therefore, many drivers take unnecessary chances. These unnecessary changes often mean severe or catastrophic injuries for bicyclists. These wounds usually include head injuries, broken bones, and serious internal injuries.
Only a Marietta personal injury attorney can obtain the financial compensation these victims need and deserve. Bicycle crash victims need money to pay medical bills and other accident-related expenses. They deserve this money because they must find some way to move on with their lives. Perhaps more importantly, damage awards send a strong message to motorists and encourage them to share the road with bicyclists.
To put it bluntly, aggressive drivers often cause collisions. If the victim is a bicyclist, there’s usually no such thing as a fender-bender collision. Since these victims are almost completely unprotected, a “minor” accident usually causes severe or catastrophic injuries. Examples of aggressive driving include:
- Failure to maintain a single lane,
- Turning without signaling, and
- Reckless driving (committing more than one traffic violation at once).
Cities can reduce or eliminate aggressive driving-related bicycle wrecks, mostly through traffic-calming measures, like lower speed limits. Designated bicycle lanes would help, as well. However, like helmets, designated bike lanes are often counterproductive.
Frequently, concrete pillars separate bicycle and motorized traffic lanes. These pillars often reduce driver visibility and increase accident potential. If Bill is traveling straight at an intersection in a bicycle lane and Ted is turning right at the intersection, Ted might not see Bill until it is too late.
Poor visibility never excuses poor driving. The duty of care requires motorists to adjust to poor visibility, poor weather, heavy traffic, and other situations. They must use more care when the environment is less than ideal. The duty of care also applies to impaired operation. The duty of care requires motorists to be at their best, mentally, physically, and otherwise, then they get behind the wheel. Some common types of impairment include:
- Alcohol/Drugs: The impairing effects of alcohol and drugs, like slow motor skills and clouded judgment, usually begin with the first strip, puff, or pill. Slow motor skills diminish the ability to adjust to changing conditions. Poor judgment means poor decision-making.
- Fatigue: Many people who would never drive drunk or stoned often drive while they are dangerously fatigued. Substance impairment and fatigue have basically the same effects. Driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .05 BAC level. That’s above the legal limit for many Georgia drivers.
- Medical Condition: Before COVID, this kind of impairment was usually limited to heart disease, diabetes, and other serious chronic conditions that could cause a sudden loss of consciousness. In the post-COVID era, scientists have determined that driving with the flu or another moderate illness reduces driving ability by as much as 50 percent.
Usually, a Marietta personal injury attorney can obtain higher compensation in impaired driver cases. Arguably, these motorists intentionally put other people at risk. They know they should not drive, yet they get behind the wheel anyway.