Georgia Motorcycle Accident Statistics and Information
Motorcycle accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence, causing thousands of injuries and deaths every year across the United States. While it is important for motorcycle riders to understand and obey the laws, it is also important for any driver to understand laws, common causes of motorcycle accidents, and how to help prevent accidents from occurring.
Let’s take a look at some of Georgia’s motorcycle accident statistics and information so that you can be prepared before hitting the road.
Georgia Motorcycle Accident Statistics
On a national level, motorcycle accidents are among the most deadly forms of auto accidents. Every year, around 2,000 people are killed in motorcycle accidents, and another 50,000 people are injured. Motorcyclists are more vulnerable and exposed to the elements, which is one reason why motorcyclists are 16 times more likely to be in a fatal accident than automobile operators.
According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia, the percentage of motorcycle accidents has been on the rise. Looking back on the past several years, statistics reveal the following:
- Since 2007, motorcyclists made up more than 10 percent of all traffic fatalities.
- Between 2014 and 2016, there was a 26 percent rise in the number of motorcyclist fatalities.
- In 2016, an estimated 173 people died in motorcycle accidents.
- Estimates for 2018 suggest the number of motorcyclist fatalities may increase to more than 260.
- Since 2013, the percentage of motorcyclists not wearing helmets has increased.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 37 percent of motorcyclist fatalities could be prevented with proper helmet use.
- Motorcyclist fatalities most commonly occur among operators between the ages of 20-29.
- With a steady increase in the number of motorcycle accidents occurring in Georgia, it is more important than ever for drivers to be aware and learn tips for preventing accidents and injuries.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists and their passengers are more likely to be injured than drivers of automobiles. On a motorcycle, there is little protection from impact and hazards, and there is a greater risk of being thrown. It is important for operators and passengers on motorcycles to be aware of the most common causes of accidents, which include:
- Distracted Driving
- Drunk Driving
- Failure to Yield
- Road Hazards/Defects
- Inexperienced Operators
These factors are among the most common causes of accidents, but there are many variables that can increase the risk of accidents and injuries.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
As we mentioned before, motorcyclists and their passengers are more vulnerable to accidents and injuries because there are no seat belts, no metal frames, and no air bags offering protection. As a result, injuries may be more severe or catastrophic. Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries, such as:
- Bone fractures or breaks
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Injuries to the knees, ankles, or legs
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Cuts and abrasions
These serious injuries may require extensive medical care, rehabilitation, and in some cases may be permanently disabling. If you are injured in a serious accident, you may also have a great deal of stress and emotional trauma to manage as you heal. All of these factors can combine to make a very expensive, ongoing situation that can impact your entire family.
How to Protect Yourself While Riding a Motorcycle
One of the best ways to reduce the risk of serious injury or death is by wearing proper gear while riding a motorcycle. For example, wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of fatal injuries by as much as 29 percent. Proper helmet use can also reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) by as much as 67 percent.
Wearing proper safety gear can also help to prevent injuries. Wearing leather pants or chaps and a jacket helps to protect your skin. Wearing proper boots or shoes can protect your feet and ankles and prevent burns or “road rash”. Protecting your body and skin is incredibly important.
One of the most common contributors to motorcycle accidents is a lack of visibility. Unlike large, bulky vehicles, motorcycles can be difficult to spot, especially from a distance or when it is dark. Motorcyclists can take precautions to make themselves more visible, such as wearing reflective gear, using pulsating headlights, and ensuring that all signals are working properly.
It is important to always drive safely and obey the rules of the road. Yes, motorcycles are compact and fast, but making unsafe choices for the sake of speed or timeliness is not worth the risk to you, your passengers, or other drivers.
Georgia’s Motorcycle Laws
Georgia residents who want to operate a motorcycle must be aware of the laws and be willing to obey them at all times. Georgia law requires the following:
- Anyone operating a motorcycle is subject to the same laws and responsibilities as any other driver. That means that unless otherwise noted, motorcyclists must obey the rules of the road just as they would if they were operating an automobile.
- Motorcyclists must use regular seats, and must not carry more passengers than the motorcycle is designed or outfitted to carry.
- Motorcyclists must sit on the seat properly, with one leg on each side, facing forward.
- Motorcyclists may not carry any items in their lap or hands while operating the motorcycle.
- No passengers may ride in a position that affects the operators ability to keep both hands on the handlebars.
- Motorcyclists must wear proper footwear while operating the motorcycle.
- Motorcyclists are entitled to full use of a travel lane, and must not be restricted.
- Motorcyclists are prohibited from passing an automobile in the same lane, as well as passing between automobiles unlawfully.
- Motorcyclists must keep headlights and taillights illuminated.
- Passengers on motorcycles must have access to properly equipped footrests.
- Handlebars must not be outfitted to more than 15 inches in height from the seat occupied by the operator.
- Motorcyclists and passengers must wear headgear as approved by the Commissioner of Public Safety.
- Motorcyclists and passengers must wear protective eyewear if the motorcycle is not equipped with a windshield.
Understanding Your Legal Rights after a Motorcycle Accident
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident, and you believe that someone else was responsible for the accident, it is important to understand your legal rights. When negligence or recklessness causes an accident, those who are injured may be able to pursue compensation for their injuries and financial losses.
To determine if you have a case and can make a claim for damages, contact The Dixon Firm today to speak with one of our Atlanta motorcycle accident attorneys. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights and options.