As Labor Day approaches, Georgia’s large population of motorcyclists will head out to enjoy the last few weekends of summer. Whether cruising down US 78 into Atlanta or checking out the famous motorcycle route along Little River Canyon Parkway, Georgia’s scenic roadways define “joyride.”
Unfortunately, any of these final trips of the season can turn disastrous when encountering other drivers. Though motorcycles have a reputation for dangerous driving, many accidents occur when drivers of larger vehicles fail to see motorcycles. What can drivers do to help share the road with bikes?
Increase motorcycle awareness and save lives
The easiest way for drivers to keep each other safe is by sticking to the basics. Most licensed drivers learn these tips in driver’s education classes. Responsible drivers implement them every time they get behind the wheel:
- Share the road: Drivers unfamiliar with motorcycles may have trouble reacting to a bike’s agile maneuvers. Safe drivers can give themselves more time to respond and understand their fellow motorists by allowing motorcycles more road space.
- Use turn signals: Bikers may need extra time identifying a car’s intentions. When driving near motorcycles, signal all turns and lane changes much earlier than usual.
- Use caution when turning left: Many motorcycle accidents stem from cars turning left through intersections. Multiple vehicles at an intersection can obscure motorcycles, making left turns potentially deadly.
- Double-check blind spots: About two-thirds of multiple-vehicle accidents involving motorcycles occur when drivers violate the biker’s right-of-way. Safe drivers will double-check their blind spots specifically for motorcycles.
- Turn off high beams: Bikers do not have the benefit of UV protected windshields that help car drivers maintain visibility in bright light. When driving near motorcycles at night, refrain from using high beams and blinding a biker.
- No drinking and driving: This tip should seem straightforward, but people still drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol every day. Motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in an accident; driving while intoxicated increases this risk considerably.
Bikers involved in an accident can reach out to a lawyer
Motorcyclists involved in a car accident who seek restitution for injury or property damage can find success with an attorney who understands Georgia’s motor vehicle laws. A lawyer can assess one’s case, work with insurance companies and draw up settlement paperwork.