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Second Augusta bicycle crash prompts investigation

Two back-to-back bicycle crashes in Georgia have prompted state officials to begin investigating ways to lower the incident of bicycle-related injuries and fatalities. The most recent wrongful death occurred when a 34-year-old man was riding his bicycle on Peach Orchard Road in Augusta. Authorities report that the man had only a small reflector and an orange vest wrapped around the top bar which was not enough to make him visible to cars approaching from the rear. The area in which the victim was killed also lacks street lights, sidewalks and bike lanes.

This fatal collision follows another Augusta crash within the same month that took a life on Mike Padgett Highway. Bike lanes are limited in the Augusta area, forcing riders to travel with traffic. Technically, bicycles are not supposed to be ridden on sidewalks, but many riders choose to operate their bikes on the sidewalk to avoid road traffic.

Experts believe that bike safety can be improved by taking several steps. Riders should ensure that they wear approved safety helmets and bright clothing as well as adding lights, reflectors and mirrors to their bikes. The point of most safety equipment is to draw drivers' attention to them, as many bike accidents occur when drivers fail to spot cyclists. Drivers should also take special care to watch for bicycle riders, especially at night.

A personal injury attorney may represent the victim of a bicycle accident. If the victim is injured, he or she may be entitled to payment of medical bills, lost wages and compensation for pain and suffering. If the victim is killed, the family may be able to recover damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death suit may recover damages for loss of love and affection, loss of income and other costs associated with a loved one's death.

Source: WRDW, "Cyclists talk bike safety after 2 fatal accidents in less than 1 month", May 24, 2013

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