Georgia motorcycle accidents can devastate a person's life. And most motorcycle accidents occur due to another driver's reckless or negligent behavior. As a result, injured motorcyclists might think that all they have to do is sign off on a settlement with the at-fault driver's insurance company.
Despite their slick marketing slogans, those folks aren't "on your side." They're trying to pay the least amount possible in damages to reduce their own costs, particularly if the injuries involved are serious or fatal.
Motorcycle accident statistics
Each year, more than 4,500 people die in motorcycle accidents in the United States. In addition, motorcyclists are more likely to suffer serious injuries or death than those in passenger vehicles - approximately 35 times more likely, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Consider that more than 80 percent of motorcycle accidents resulted in an injury or fatality to the motorcyclist. In Georgia alone, approximately 150 motorcycle crashes result in death each year. The majority of these accidents occur in the metro Atlanta region. However, most motorcycle deaths in Georgia occur on rural roads, rather than city streets.
Many passenger vehicle drivers involved in crashes with motorcycles allege they did not see the motorcycle before the collision or they didn't spot it until it was too late to react appropriately and avoid a collision.
Preventing an Atlanta motorcycle accident
There are steps both motorcyclists and drivers can take to prevent crashes. For motorcyclists, research shows some of the best ways to avoid a collision include:
- Make sure you perform a motorcycle safety check of your bike before you head out. Check your tires, lights, and turn signals, and make sure everything is in working order.
- Wear a quality protective helmet. The No. 1 cause of death in motorcycle crashes is head injuries, accounting for roughly 40 percent of all deadly bike crashes. Nearly 100 motorcyclists' lives are saved annually in Georgia because they are wearing an effective helmet. Georgia law (§ 40-6-315) requires all riders to wear a helmet.
- Keep your headlight on at all times - even during the daytime. This will help other motorists better see you.
- Wear high-visibility protective clothing (red, yellow, orange). Thick pants, boots, shirts with long sleeves can also help.
For passenger vehicle and commercial vehicle drivers:
- Always check your blind spots when changing lanes or merging into traffic. Make sure the road is clear before pulling out into the road.
- Keep your eyes on the road. Distraction in the form of cellphone use is known to contribute significantly to all crashes, particularly those involving motorcycles.
Call an Atlanta Motorcycle Injury Attorney
In order to protect your rights following a serious motorcycle crash in Georgia, it's important to discuss your legal options with an experienced Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney.
The Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, P.C. can help you pursue justice.