Motorcycle accidents can happen for many reasons. Poor weather, low visibility, and dangerous road conditions like potholes often contribute to these collisions. In other cases, the negligence and recklessness of other drivers on the road lead to serious accidents.
If you are riding a motorcycle on Georgia roads, staying alert and practicing defensive driving can help you avoid some of the most common causes of accidents. If an accident does occur, however, you have the right to pursue legal action against the responsible party.
#1: Increase Your Visibility as Much as Possible
Many motorcycle accidents occur during times of low visibility, such as evening hours or periods of inclement weather. If you are able, avoid riding during these risky times. While riding, never assume that another driver can see you—always be cautious next to passing vehicles.
There are steps that you could take to improve your visibility on the road, and overall motorcycle safety. For example, make sure that all of your lights are in good working condition. Consider investing in a light modulator so that you could flash your lights at passing motorists.
#2: Avoid Lane Sharing or Splitting
Many motorcyclists share lanes with other drivers, or split lanes between rows of vehicles in stopped traffic. While these actions may be convenient, they can also be extremely dangerous and heighten your risk of accident. Additionally, lane splitting is illegal in Georgia and can result in a penalty.
Drivers who cause motorcycle accidents often claim that they didn’t see a motorcyclist. For example, a driver may merge lanes suddenly in front of you, leading to an accident. In stopped traffic, drivers could suddenly open their doors, causing you to crash into them. To improve your visibility and avoid these sudden collisions, do not share or split lanes.
#3: Keep an Eye Out for Road Hazards
Many motorcycle accidents occur due to dangerous conditions on the road. Potholes, loose gravel, uneven pavement, and other hazards can put a motorcyclist at a severe risk of an accident. While larger motor vehicles can easily drive over or around these hazards, motorcyclists do not have that privilege.
Before riding your bike, take time to learn about common road hazards and best practices for avoiding dangerous conditions when you encounter them. While riding, keep an eye out for potential hazards and handle your bike according to the standards that you learned.
It may also be a good idea to practice defensive maneuvers. Learning how to safely ride around an unexpected pothole or pile of gravel can help you avoid a potentially dangerous accident. There are programs that offer defensive driving courses to motorcyclists.
#4: Be Cautious at Intersections
Accidents involving a car and a motorcycle often occur at intersections. A driver may fail to yield the right of way to a motorcyclist and collide into him or her while making a left turn. Motorists may fail to see the bike at all or run a red light or stop sign, leading to injury.
If you are approaching an intersection, be cautious. Do not increase your speed and be ready to brake when necessary. Keep an eye on motorists, especially those who are turning left. Defensive driving can help save your life.
#5: Never Assume the Driver Can See You
On the topic of defensive driving, never assume that a driver is paying attention to motorcycles. Many motorists claim that they simply did not see a motorcycle before hitting the rider. In these situations, you should always be vigilant around motorists and be prepared to maneuver in case of an unexpected event or erratic movement.
#6: Maintain Your Bike Regularly
Many motorcycle accidents occur due to defective or poorly maintained vehicles or vehicle components. A bike can break down due to malfunctioning parts, causing a motorcyclist to lose control. In these situations, regular maintenance can help prevent a collision.
To avoid an unexpected accident, inspect your bike regularly and make sure to receive repairs as soon as you realize that something is amiss. Always ensure that your motorcycle is in good working condition before going for a ride. Check your tires, brakes, lights, turn signals, and other gear to assess your motorcycle’s condition.
What to Do After a Georgia Motorcycle Accident
While these tips can help decrease your risk of an accident, dangerous collisions can still occur. If you are involved in a Georgia motorcycle crash, it is important to remain calm and secure the help that you need. Call 911 to report the accident to the police and seek medical attention immediately.
After you receive the care that you need, contact an Augusta motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. An attorney can evaluate your case and help you identify your optimal path to maximum compensation.