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Georgia Drivers Urged to Watch Out for Motorcyclists This Safety Awareness Month

Cropped image of motorbike in the night, first point view.

May marks the annual observance of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. This period is designated to encourage sharing the road with bikers and following safe driving practices to help prevent motorcycle accidents.

The Georgia Department of Driver Services Motorcycle Safety Program (GMSP) plays an important role in this initiative. It aims to educate motorists and motorcyclists about the importance of sharing the road.

As the summer season approaches, bringing with it an increase in road trips and vehicular activity, GMSP's message is clear and urgent: cooperation and adherence to safe driving practices help prevent fatalities and injuries on Georgia's highways.

With the high rate of serious and fatal motorcycle accidents, the "Share the Road" campaign isn't just a slogan but a crucial call to action. It emphasizes the need for heightened awareness and mutual respect among all road users to ensure everyone's safety.

What risks do motorcyclists face on the road?

Motorcyclists face disproportionate risks on the road, with alarming statistics highlighting their vulnerability. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 6,218 motorcyclists died in traffic accidents across the United States in 2022.

Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are nearly 22 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to succumb to fatal crashes. They're also four times more likely to suffer injuries.

The most common risks motorcyclists face on the road include:

  • Limited visibility, especially in blind spots or during lane changes.
  • Sudden lane changes and merging when drivers fail to check their blind spots or use their mirrors.
  • Left-turn accidents, especially at intersections.
  • Distracted driving, such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or adjusting controls.
  • Following too closely or tailgating.
  • Opening car doors, particularly in urban areas with parked cars along the roadside.
  • Drivers impaired by alcohol, drugs, or medications.
  • Aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, and weaving through traffic.
  • Failure to signal when turning, changing lanes, or merging.

Safety tips for motorists and motorcyclists

Both motorists and motorcyclists can play an important role in promoting road safety and reducing traffic accidents on Georgia's highways and roads.

Here are valuable tips for motorists:

  • Maintain a safe following distance behind motorcycles to increase reaction time. Remember, motorcycles have a much shorter stopping distance than larger passenger vehicles.
  • Use extra caution at intersections, scan for motorcyclists, and yield the right of way when necessary.
  • Check mirrors and blind spots, as motorcycles are smaller and can be difficult to notice if you're not paying attention.
  • Always use turn signals to indicate your intentions, whether changing lanes or making a turn.
  • Check for motorcycles before opening doors to avoid dooring accidents.

Motorcyclists can increase their safety by following these tips:

  • Enhance visibility through reflective riding gear, especially during low-light conditions or inclement weather.
  • Avoid riding in adverse weather conditions, as it can impair visibility and reduce road traction.
  • Always wear a helmet that meets safety standards, as well as protective clothing such as gloves, a jacket, pants, and boots.
  • Assume that other drivers may not see you, and always be prepared to react to unexpected situations.
  • Regularly inspect your motorcycle for any signs of wear or damage, and ensure it is properly maintained.

While there are measures motorcyclists can take to help prevent crashes, the primary responsibility rests with motorists due to their larger, heavier vehicles which can cause more significant damage in an accident.

As such, it's crucial for drivers to be extra vigilant and to always consider the presence of motorcyclists on the road. By practicing the tips provided for motorists, drivers can greatly reduce the risk of accidents with motorcyclists.

Get legal representation if you're hurt in a motorcycle accident in Georgia

Having the right legal representation can make a meaningful difference in the outcome of your case after a motorcycle accident.

An experienced Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates can gather and preserve evidence that supports your claim, such as witness testimonies and the motorcycle accident report.

We can also handle all communications with insurance companies, negotiate for fair compensation, and provide representation in court if needed.

We provide a free initial consultation, where our experienced attorneys will assess the specifics of your motorcycle accident case. We'll discuss your legal options, answer any questions you may have, and outline the potential steps moving forward.

To get started, contact us online or call one of our Georgia law offices.

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