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Macon GA Personal Injury Law Blog

Tips for cyclists to stay safe this summer

Cycling is great way to be eco-friendly and burn some calories. Georgia recognizes bicycles as vehicles under the law. As a cyclist, you have the same rights to public streets and roads that cars and trucks do. This also means that you must abide by the same traffic laws that motorists do. When you are out on the road, you need to drive defensively and pay attention to the other motorists to prevent accidents. 

Make sure you know the laws and safety rules for riding bicycles in Georgia

  • Stay off the sidewalk. Only riders under the age of 12 are allowed to ride on a sidewalk.
  • Motorists must give cyclists a three-foot buffer between their vehicle and the bicycle when passing.
  • Cyclists have the right of way in bike lanes, but not every motorist is aware of this.
  • Make turns carefully. Always signal your intentions and try to catch the eyes of a driver when you’re in an intersection to make sure he or she knows you are there.
  • When passing a car, pass on the left, just as you would if you were in a motor vehicle.
  • Wear bright clothing and make sure to have proper equipment on your bike to ensure you are visible.
  • Be predictable on the road. Flow with traffic. Maintain a consistent line of travel. 

How you can protect yourself from medical errors

A study released at this time last year by researchers at Johns Hopkins University raised some very real concerns about patient safety. To recap, the study, published in The BMJ, found that over 250,000 deaths per year can be attributed to medical errors, making it the third highest cause of death in the U.S.

While there has since been some debate as to whether this is indeed the case, there is no denying that medical errors are a very real concern that must be taken seriously by both physicians and patients alike. Indeed, questions naturally arise as to what patients can do to protect themselves. 

Georgia officials to motorists: Warmer weather means more motorcycles

Thanks to Georgia's temperate climate, many people can and do make a motorcycle their primary mode of transportation on a year-round basis. There are a considerable number of motorcyclists, however, who choose to leave their bikes parked in the garage until spring rolls around, unwilling to deal with cooler temperatures, cold rain and even frost.

Given this reality, the number of motorcycles out on the roads and highways has undoubtedly increased in recent weeks and will likely only get higher over the coming months. Indeed, in recognition of the increased ridership that accompanies warmer weather, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has dubbed May Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

Opinions remain divided on primary seat belt laws

Whether we realize it or not, most of us follow a routine every time we get behind the wheel of our vehicles and move the shifter from park to drive. For example, many of us will check the mirrors, adjust the seat, set the climate, sync electronic devices and, of course, buckle seat belts.

Indeed, it would appear that the majority of us are now making seat belt use part of our routines, as a survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that close to 90 percent of drivers were buckling up in 2016.

Report: Drugged driving fatalities have risen considerably

There's no question that attitudes toward driving under the influence of alcohol have changed considerably here in the U.S. over the last several decades, with more people than ever understanding just how dangerous this behavior is. Indeed, statistics show that while alcohol was a factor in 55 percent of fatal crashes in 1982, this number has since declined to roughly 33 percent.

As encouraging as this development is, a recently released report by the Governors Highway Safety Association reveals that the threat posed by impaired driving not only remains very real, but has actually evolved.

Overcoming the shame of credit card debt

If you are struggling to pay your credit card bills, mortgage payments and other monthly expenses, you are not alone. Many people in Macon are also experiencing financial problems that interfere with their ability to make timely payments to their creditors. As burdensome and embarrassing as it can be for you to have credit card debt, your emotions may be preventing you from developing healthy financial habits. If you are currently working and earning income, you may be able to catch up on your payments. If not, there may be other options available.

Learn how to overcome the shame often associated with credit card debt so you can take actions to improve your financial situation.

Revisiting the lessons of National Dog Bite Prevention Week

When it comes to safety awareness, April is an exceedingly busy month. That's because in addition to the entire month being designated National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the week of the 3-7 was National Work Zone Awareness Week and the week of the 9-15 was National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

While these are all extremely important safety issues meriting special attention, it can understandably prove to be difficult to keep track of them all. However, given that more people are now going to be outside owing to the return of spring and the fact that estimates show there are now close to 70 million dogs living in U.S. households, it's perhaps worthwhile to revisit some of the lessons of National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

FMCSA: Fatal truck crashes increase by 8 percent in 2015

When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its estimates for the number of traffic fatalities during the first 9 months of 2016 earlier this year, people were understandably concerned. That's because it projected that as many as 27,875 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents versus 25,808 during the same timeframe in 2015, an 8 percent increase.

While these figures have sounded an alarm about the safety of our roads and highways, the numbers recently released by another federal agency will likely raise these concerns to another level.  

Just how much did pedestrian fatalities increase in 2016?

While improving economic conditions have resulted in rising wages, greater job stability and increased employment opportunities, they have also had the other less obvious impact of putting more people back on the road. Indeed, this reality, coupled with low gas prices, has resulted in a considerable spike in the number of motor vehicle miles traveled.

Although this may seem like a welcome development, it actually comes at a time when more people than ever are choosing to make the transition from motorist to pedestrian owing to everything from improved public transportation and monetary concerns to a desire to live a healthier lifestyle and reduce their carbon footprint. Of course, with this increase in motorists and pedestrians -- and the number of smartphones owned by each -- comes a heightened risk of fatal accidents.

The importance of assessing our own driving abilities

While most of us would like to think we are capable of being objective when it comes to assessing our driving abilities, it might prove to be a more difficult exercise than we imagine. That's because not only are we inherently defensive when it comes to this issue -- when is the last time anyone admitted to being a bad driver? -- but perceptions of what is acceptable behavior behind the wheel varies from person to person.

The good news is that there are certain avenues through which we can find out once and for all whether we can be confident in our driving judgment and abilities, or whether we need to think about making some changes.