Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous. However, you can enjoy the open road comfortably if you take motorcycle safety seriously. Before you fire up your engine, you should be aware of the risks and potential injuries involved with driving a motorcycle.
Motorcycle accident injuries can be extremely serious or fatal. Most injuries are to the legs or feet, but around 22 percent of victims suffer moderate to serious chest, neck, and head injuries. Common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Neck injuries
- Torso and pelvis trauma
- Arm, feet, and leg injuries
- Road rash
Georgia ranks 18th in the nation for the highest rate of motorcycle fatalities. From 2014-2018, 10.5% of all vehicle-related injuries in Georgia were motorcyclists. It’s important to understand that riding a motorcycle is dangerous and should be done deliberately and carefully. The following tips from an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer will help you be safe when going for a ride on your motorcycle.
#1: Pick the Right Ride
Not all motorcycles are created equal. And not all motorcycles will work for you. Make sure you know what size and speed you are comfortable with. If you can’t rest both feet on the ground while seated, your motorcycle is too big. Your motorcycle should be light enough that you can maneuver it easily, and the handlebars and controls should be within reach. Finally, make sure you get anti-lock brakes. You are 37% less likely to get into a fractal accident if your motorcycle has anti-lock brakes.
But even if you take precautions, you may still suffer a motorcycle accident injury. If you do, be sure to contact Greathouse Trial Law, LLC. Our personal injury lawyers will provide you with personal attention and fight tirelessly for your rights.
#2: Motorcycle Safety Course
If you’ve never ridden a motorcycle before, or if it’s been a long time, make sure your skills and abilities are up to par before hitting the open road. Either the dealership you purchase your motorcycle from or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation will provide a safety course. If you complete a course, you may even qualify for a discount on your motorcycle insurance.
After taking a motorcycle safety course, practice what you learned in low-traffic areas. Practice riding safely in hazardous conditions such as high winds, wet surfaces, or uneven surfaces.
#3: Wear the Right Gear
Without the right gear, riding a motorcycle is reckless. Above all, make sure you have the right helmet. Helmets save lives. Riding without a helmet makes it 40% more likely that you will suffer a fatal head injury.
It is also imperative that you protect your eyes. Choose a helmet with a visor or get a pair of goggles. Either way, be sure to protect your eyes from sun and debris riding your motorcycle. Doing so will help ensure that you are comfortable and competent behind the wheel of a motorcycle.
#4: Inspect Your Motorcycle
Before you start the engine, ALWAYS inspect your motorcycle to be sure it is safe to ride. Make sure the lights, horn, and signals are working correctly. Check out the chain, belt, and shaft and make sure everything is in perfect order. And finally, inspect the tires for wear and tear and proper tire pressure. Riding a motorcycle is dangerous, don’t make it more so by forgetting to check your bike before hitting the road. A simple inspection could save your life or prevent serious injury.
#5: Check the Weather and Conditions
Whenever possible, avoid riding in hazardous conditions. But the odds are you will get caught in harsh conditions from time to time. It is essential to understand what you can and can’t handle.
The first few minutes of a rainstorm are the most dangerous. If you can’t avoid riding in the rain, try to avoid riding in the first few minutes of a rainstorm. Rain reduces visibility significantly and loosens your tires’ grip on the road. If you get caught riding in the rain, take it easy on your brakes and avoid sudden maneuvers. Sand, wet leaves, and pebbles can also cause the motorcycle to slide or slip like rain.
If you find yourself riding in windy conditions, move to the side of the road if possible. And always watch for bumps and potholes.
#6: Be Smart
Everyone’s mind wanders while driving, especially on the open road. Riding a motorcycle requires greater focus and attention. Always make sure your mind is on the road.
Despite what some may tell you, it is better to drive defensively. Car drivers are at fault 60 percent of the time in accidents with motorcycles. It’s essential to be visible, so car drivers can see you, especially when changing lanes. So make sure you aren’t riding in someone’s blind spot and that you are staying in the middle of the lane.
Most importantly, it should go without saying but never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Riding a motorcycle is dangerous; doing so under the influence of alcohol or drugs is reckless and makes it far more likely you will suffer a severe or fatal injury.
#7: Get Insured
The previous six tips are imperative. But even if you take all of the precautions listed, motorcycle accidents can still happen. Having the right insurance could make the experience less difficult. Like most other states, Georgia requires a minimum of liability insurance.
Specifically, Georgia requires:
- $25,000 in liability insurance per person for injuries or death;
- $50,000 in insurance per accident for injuries or death; and
- $25,000 in property damage liability insurance per accident.
If you drive a motorcycle without the required insurance, the state may revoke or suspend the motorcycle registration.
Have You Sustained An Injury in a Motorcycle Accident? Contact Greathouse Trial Law, LLC
Understanding motorcycle safety can save your life. But unfortunately, accidents happen all the time, and you can’t always control the circumstances. If you have sustained an injury in a motorcycle accident, contact Greathouse Trial Law, LLC, at (678) 310-2827 or complete our online form. Our personal injury attorneys will take the time to get to know you and your situation and tirelessly fight for your rights. You don’t have to handle legal and insurance issues alone. Our personal injury lawyers are here to help.
Copyright© 2021. Greathouse Trial Law. All rights reserved.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm. It is not intended to substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.