7 Tips for Motorcycle Safety in the Summer
No matter how much fun it is to ride a motorcycle, the thrill must be balanced with safety. Motorcycles pose significant dangers that other vehicles do not present on the road. Motorcycles and their riders are quite vulnerable with practically no protection – so when a motorcyclist is involved in a crash, the motorcyclist is almost always seriously injured or killed.
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia reports that in 2017, 208 motorcyclists lost their lives. The office projects that there will be 264 fatalities in 2018. The National Motorcycle Institute verifies the danger and reports that driving a motorcycle is 27 times more dangerous than driving a car.
Still, there are many reasons to enjoy motorcycle riding, or for some, to use it as their main form of transportation. Whether you are a daily rider or a weekend warrior, there are ways to reduce the potential danger of the ride and avoid becoming another statistic. Follow these tips and your chances of being in a motorcycle accident may be substantially reduced.
Motorcycle Safety Tips for On Road Riding
- Get your license. Before getting your license to drive a motorcycle, take a motorcycle riding course. The Georgia Department of Driver Services offers several courses. The basic course covers the information you need to get your license. Motorcycles and helmets are provided. There are advanced classes that can be taken that will help you improve your riding skills.
- Inspect your motorcycle before every ride. Be sure the tires are properly inflated and that the tread is in good shape. Check the brakes. Look for signs of a fluid leak. Make sure the headlights and turn signals are working properly. If anything is amiss, do not take the chance that comes with riding a bike that is not in good condition.
- Install an anti-lock brake system (ABS). This is the best way to maintain control and prevent the front, rear or both wheels from locking up – if you have to stop fast. The Consumer Safety Organization reports that you are 37 percent less likely to have a fatal crash if your motorcycle is equipped with an ABS.
- Remain Visible. Visibility should be a key concern for every motorcyclist. To reduce the risk of not being spotted by other drivers, wear bright and/or reflective clothing, wear a bright helmet, stay out of blind spots, ride in groups and ride predictably.
- Wear proper protective clothes and gear. Always wear your helmet! Always wear a protective jacket, pants, boots and gloves, even in hot weather. Road rash is a common motorcycle injury. It occurs when bare skin scrapes across pavement, tearing the skin – which is equivalent to a severe burn, not a rash. Do you best to avoid road rash, by wearing the proper gear.
- Watch for obstacles in the road. Motorcyclists, more than vehicle drivers, can be injured by debris in the road or speeding over a pothole. Driving a car over an oil spill may not even be noticeable. You may drive your motorcycle over that same spill, skid, and lose control of your bike.
- Follow all state traffic laws. Although riding a motorcycle is different than driving a car, all rules of the road apply to motorcycle riders. This means always being aware of other vehicles and be ready to act quickly if they do something unexpected. Always assume the other driver does not see you. Leave space between you and the car in front of you, as required by law. Follow the speed limit and do not drive faster than what is safe for the road conditions. Avoid as much as possible riding in bad weather conditions.
Relevant Georgia Law You Must Follow
There are a few important Georgia laws applicable to motorcyclists and their passengers that you must follow when riding on the roadway. A few of the most relevant ones are:
- Drivers and passengers must both wear helmets.
- Drivers and passengers must wear protective eye gear unless the motorcycle has a windscreen.
- The headlight must be on even in the daytime.
- Lane splitting is prohibited. The law specifies that you cannot pass a vehicle “in the same lane occupied by the vehicle overtaken.”
- You can ride in a lane two abreast, but no more than two.
Different laws apply to those who are riding off road.
No matter how careful you are, when it comes to riding a motorcycle it is not a matter of when you crash or lay your bike down, but when. When that time comes, and your crash is the result of the negligence of another contact Georgia Trial Attorneys– for a free consultation. As motorcycle owners and riders, we understand your unique experience.