Riding a bicycle alongside cars can be intimidating. There's always the fear that a vehicle won't see you, or it might pass too closely and cause an accident. Accidents involving a bike and motor vehicle are not only frightening; they can cause serious injury or even death.
Bicycles in Georgia are considered vehicles and subject to the same road rules as automobiles. As such, bike accidents are treated much the same way that automobile accidents are treated.
So what should you do if you're in an accident that involves a bicycle and a vehicle?
- Most importantly, make sure that everyone is okay. If not, call 911 immediately.
- Call the police. Even if you stand up and feel fine, you should still get a police report of the incident. Biking accidents create a rush of adrenaline, which can temporarily mask physical injuries. You may not feel the pain of a torn muscle or back injury until you've had time to calm down. You'll need the police report if you later decide to recover for any physical or property damages.
- Exchange names and contact information, and be sure to get the driver's license number of all the parties involved in the accident. Don't rely on phone numbers alone. Someone might give you a bogus name and number.
- Ask witnesses to tell you what they saw and make sure to get their contact information.
- Take pictures if you have a camera.
- Don't assume you're at fault just because you're on a bike, and don't admit fault. It may be the driver's fault for not obeying traffic laws.
Bike accidents are very emotional for both the rider and the driver. You will likely feel extremely thankful to be alive or angry about the situation. Whatever you're feeling, try to stay as calm as possible. Don't rush the situation. Instead, look around for anything that might be useful later should there be an investigation, and be sure to gather as much information as possible about the driver, witnesses and the scene.