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Last month, Dr. Dan Dickinson, of Augusta, was killed while riding his bike to work, and Ernest Tanner, also of Augusta, was rear-ended in the1700 block of Tobacco Road. Tanner remains in critical condition.
To date this year, there have been 30 Augusta bicycle accidents involving vehicles, including two fatalities. In 2010, there were 37 car and bicycle accidents in Augusta, GA, including one fatality.
Last month's fatality and the ever increasing number of car and bicycle accidents indicate that this year will well surpass the number of cycling accidents in Augusta of years past.
Augusta is not alone in cycling injuries and fatalities, as the numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety indicate that Fulton County, which includes Atlanta accidents, has had six fatal cycling accidents between 2005 and 2009. In addition, Chatham County, which includes Savannah, has had five fatal incidents in the same time period.
Why are so many Georgia bicycle accidents and fatalities occurring?
Although the number of cycling accidents could be decreased if motorists worked on lessening their negligent behaviors, something else could help prevent bicycle accidents in Augusta as well. Activists believe that more bicycle lanes should be created.
Researchers look to cities like Minneapolis, where cycling accidents dropped from 12 percent to 3 percent once officials put in more bicycle lanes.
Augusta's planning and transportation officials are going to catalogue where Augusta's bicycle lanes are to determine if they are inadequate, which many believe to be true.
Kalka & Baer would like to see the addition of bicycle lanes across the state to reduce Georgia bicycle accidents. We also would like to remind drivers to watch out for bicyclists on the road, allow plenty of room when passing, and yield to cyclists.