As you know, motorcycle crashes in Marietta and surrounding cities oftentimes leave riders with serious injuries. The number of deaths as a result of motorcycle accidents has increased a massive 55% in the last 14 years. The cause may be attributed to the sheer number of motorcycles on roadways and the lack of protection for riders.
Unfortunately, a corrections officer for nearby Clayton County lost his life in a motorcycle crash that occurred Sunday morning. A passenger car pulled out in front of the cyclists, causing a collision that ultimately led to his death. This accident is just one of many devastating motorcycle crashes that occur in the state of Georgia each year. These incidents make us wonder exactly what regulations are in place in Georgia with efforts of keeping motorcyclists safe while on local roadways.
In 1969, Georgia passed a universal helmet law, which requires all motorcycle passengers to wear a helmet while riding. This law has saved many Georgians' lives, as helmets are estimated to lessen the risk of losing one's life by 37% and reduces head injury risks by 69%. Helmets should have a dense, inch thick inner liner that you can feel instead of foam or plastic on the inside. They should also employ chin traps and weigh less than one pound. Many helmets also have shields for the rider's face, which keeps objects from flying into their face and make it easier to see. In addition to always wearing a helmet, we've compiled a list of other motorcycle safety tips:
- Before riding a motorcycle, you should complete a motorcycle safety course. There are multiple rider training programs offered by the Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program that teach riders how to navigate properly, what protective gear to wear, and more.
- In addition to a helmet, it is smart to always use goggles or some other form of eye protection, leather gloves, boots that cover your ankles, and long pants and sleeved shirts. The more durable the clothing and protective coverings, the less severe injuries or road rash will be in a crash.
- Use headlights at all times, not just at night.
- It is safest to avoid driving a motorcycle at night, but if you must ride at night you should use extra caution. Motorcycles are much harder to see in the dark, regardless of head and rear lights. Reflective clothing should be worn, and many riders also use reflective tape on their bikes to remain safe.
- Drive below the speed limit and leave more space between yourself and other vehicles than you would if operating a passenger vehicle. Especially at night, it is smart to give yourself more reaction time in case other drivers brake or change lanes unexpectedly. More often than not, drivers of other, larger vehicles cannot see you as well as they can other vehicles. For this reason, you should always have the mindset that other drivers do not see you just in case.
- Do not operate your cycle in wet or slick weather conditions, as you are much more likely to be involved in a traffic accident if you do.
- Keep up your motorcycle's maintenance so that you can be confident the cycle will run smoothly. There are also inspections that should be performed annually to avoid breaking down or causing a traffic accident.
No one wants to cause a wreck, but as a motorcyclist you must work harder to keep yourself safe more so than other drivers simply because you have much less protection surrounding your body. In the event that you or a loved one become injured in a motorcycle crash due to another driver's negligence, you may have a legal claim for damages against the at-fault driver. Your medical expenses will likely be high, and the damage to your motorcycle is probably extensive. The monetary compensation that you may recover as a result of contacting Jones & Swanson could be used to handle those unforeseen expenses. For more information or a free consultation, contact our office at (770) 427-5498 today.