While motorcycles have the same rights and privileges as other vehicles on Georgia’s roads, you often wouldn’t know it from the actions of other drivers. Motorcycle safety is a significant concern, and each year more than 100 riders die from accident-related injuries in Georgia alone. In fact, since 2000, motorcycle fatalities have been on the rise – even as safety technologies have improved.
If you are a rider who has been injured in an accident, it is important that you speak with an attorney about filing a claim for compensation. If someone else is responsible for your injuries, they deserve to be held accountable, and you deserve to collect a financial recovery. At Van Sant Law, we are committed to helping injured riders enforce their legal rights, and we will fight aggressively to win maximum compensation for your injury-related losses.
Motorcycle Riders Are at Risk in Georgia
Motorcycle riders in Georgia face numerous risks on a daily basis. Here are some of the most common driver-related causes that lead to motorcycle accidents and our attorneys’ Top 10 Motorcycle Safety Tips:
Common Causes of Motorcycle Collisions Involving Other Vehicles
Alcohol use is among the leading causes of all motor vehicle accidents, and motorcycle accidents are no exception. Drunk drivers are less able to comprehend their surroundings and they have slower reaction times, and this can be a deadly combination for an unsuspecting rider.
Distracted driving is another far-too-common cause of serious, and often deadly, collisions. Some studies have found that being distracted (including talking or texting on the phone) can be just as dangerous as being drunk behind the wheel.
Turning in Front of an Approaching Motorcycle
Getting into specifics, drivers regularly cause accidents when they turn in front of approaching motorcycles. There can be a number of reasons for this error – including inattention, misjudging a motorcycle’s speed, or even overlooking a motorcycle entirely.
Merging into an Oncoming Motorcycle
Merging accidents often have similar causes, as well. On highways and other multi-lane roads, drivers who are not thinking about looking for motorcycles will often merge right in front of (if not right into) oncoming riders.
While the media is often quick to point out riders who exceed the speed limit, motorcycle riders regularly fall victim to other drivers’ excessive speeding, as well. The faster a car or truck is going, the longer it takes to stop, and this has led to numerous rear-end motorcycle collisions.
Running Red Lights and Stop Signs
When drivers plow through stop signs or speed up to try to “beat” a yellow light, they can create extremely dangerous – and often unavoidable – situations where motorcycle riders who have lawfully entered an intersection have no way to avoid a broadside collision.
Other Forms of Driver Negligence
Of course, the above are all just examples. There are countless other ways that negligent drivers can – and do – cause dangerous motorcycle accidents. From stopping suddenly to swerving to avoid a pothole, a split-second mistake can easily leave an innocent rider with life-changing injuries.
Our Top 10 Motorcycle Safety Tips
Unfortunately, in many cases, there is simply nothing that motorcycle riders can do to avoid being injured in a collision. That said, motorcycle riders should still try to protect themselves as much as possible. Here are Van Sant Law’s top 10 tips for motorcycle safety in Georgia:
- Wear a Helmet. In Georgia, the law requires all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. Helmets have been proven to reduce the risk of serious head injuries in the event of a collision. Make sure to look for a helmet with a DOT or Snell approval rating.
- “ATGATT.” Motorcycle riders commonly use the term “ATGATT.” It stands for, “all the gear, all the time.” In addition to your helmet, consider wearing boots, gloves, riding pants, and a motorcycle jacket every time you ride.
- Do Your Checks. Before starting a ride, check your lights, brake pads, tire pressure, and fluid levels. It only takes a few seconds, and it can help you avoid a dangerous situation on the road.
- Follow the Law. As a motorcycle rider, you owe it to yourself, your fellow riders, and the drivers around you to observe the rules of the road.
- Ride Defensively. When approaching potentially dangerous situations like a busy intersection, ride defensively. Assume that there will be at least one driver who is either not paying attention or not thinking about the risk of hitting a motorcycle.
- Look Where You Want to Go. When approaching a potential hazard, conventional wisdom says that you should turn your head and look where you want to go. This can help you avoid becoming fixated and riding into a dangerous situation.
- Know How to Manage Your Braking. In certain situations, you will want to brake your front wheel first (with your hand). In others, you will want to start your braking at the rear (with your foot). Knowing when to use each of your brakes can help keep you safe on the road.
- Ride Alert and Sober. If you are tired, or if you have been drinking, consider hitching a ride with someone else. As fun as it is to ride, no one ride is worth putting your life or others’ lives in danger.
- Avoid Sudden Inputs. When it comes to accelerating, braking, and turning on a motorcycle, you generally want to apply smooth, constant pressure.
- Assume Drivers Aren’t Looking Out for You. This goes along with driving defensively. When you’re out on your bike, one of the best things you can do to stay safe is to remember that each of the drivers around you is only one mistake away from causing a serious accident.
When you practice safe riding habits, stay within your limits, and observe the rules of the road, riding a motorcycle on its own isn’t a dangerous activity. It is the drivers around you who put you at risk for suffering serious – and potentially fatal – injuries.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
We already mentioned Georgia’s motorcycle accident fatality rate, and we have previously highlighted some important statistics on motorcycle accidents in Georgia. Consider these additional statistics from the Insurance Information Institute (III) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- According to the latest data, there are approximately 8.4 million motorcycles on the road. Roughly one percent are involved in an accident each year.
- More than 4,000 riders are killed annually in motorcycle accidents.
- The average age of riders killed in crashes is increasing, and was 42 years of age in the most recent year for which data are available. Older riders are also more likely than younger riders to sustain serious injuries.
- Motorcycle riders are five times more likely than drivers and passengers to be injured in an accident, and 27 times more likely to be killed.
- In Georgia, less than 10 percent of riders who were killed in accidents were not wearing a helmet. This number is significantly lower than the comparable statistics from neighboring states that do not have universal motorcycle helmet laws.
These statistics point to one key fact: If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you are not alone. To get the help you need to win the compensation you deserve, schedule a free consultation today.
More Information for Injured Motorcycle Riders in Georgia
If you would like more information about your rights after being injured in a motorcycle accident in Georgia, we encourage you to review these free resources prepared by the personal injury attorneys at Van Sant Law:
- Motorcycle Safety in Georgia – Find more tips for staying safe in the saddle.
- Types of Motorcycle Accidents – Read about more common driver-related causes of motorcycle accidents.
- Do You Have a Good Motorcycle Accident Case? – Find out how to tell if you may have a claim for financial compensation.
- Causes of Motorcycle Accidents – Get more statistics on the most-common causes of motorcycle accidents in Georgia.
- Common Types of Motorcycle Injuries and Collisions – Learn more about driver mistakes that can lead to claims for financial compensation.
- Valuing Motorcycle Accident Claims – Learn about the importance of knowing what you’ve lost before you settle with the insurance companies.
- DUI Motorcycle Accidents – Was the driver who hit you or ran you off the road drunk? Find out how this can affect your claim for compensation.
- Personal Injury FAQs – Which insurance company will cover your losses? Should you use your health insurance to cover the cost of your accident-related injuries? Get answers to these questions and more in our Personal Injury FAQs.
Contact the Georgia Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Van Sant Law
At Van Sant Law, we can help you protect your rights and secure maximum compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries. It costs you nothing to speak with an attorney, and we can help you avoid making mistakes that could jeopardize your claim. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, call (404) 991-5950 or tell us about your case online today.