8 tips, tricks and advice for motorcyclists in Macon, Georgia
According to motor vehicle accident statistics from 2018, there were 4,180 motorcycle accidents in the state of Georgia. These collisions tragically resulted in 154 fatalities. Motorcyclists are more susceptible to serious injury or fatality due to the lack of physical protection.
There are a number of motorcycle safety tips that riders can follow in order to better protect their health, safety and well-being.
Tip #1: Inspect your bike.
Drivers should routinely check their bike. Bad or worn parts may lead to collisions with other vehicles or cause the bike to seriously malfunction while riding, which also may lead to an accident. Motorcyclists should perform safety checks each time before heading out on the road.
• Tires. Check the pressure of each tire and the amount of tread. Make sure there are no cracks or bulges.
• Fluid levels. All fluid levels should be checked weekly. Look around and under the bike for signs of leakage.
• Headlight, turn signals and taillight. Make sure all the lights are working properly.
• Mirrors. Clean the mirrors as needed and ensure they are positioned properly.
• Clutch and throttle. Make sure the clutch and throttle are functioning normally. The throttle should immediately snap back once released.
• Brakes. The front and rear brakes should be firm. They should also hold or stop the bike when fully engaged.
• Horn. The horn must be functioning in order to alert other riders, drivers or pedestrians when needed.
Tip #2: Wear essential motorcycle safety gear.
Experts recommend that motorcyclists wear “all the gear, all the time.” Proper outer apparel acts as body armor for the rider, which is otherwise lacking. Taking a quick trip across town may seem harmless and unnecessary for gearing up. However, the majority of motor vehicle collisions occur close to home.
Wear the correct gear in order to protect yourself from injury.
Full helmets with face visors offer the most protection for the head, face and neck. Motorcyclists must ensure that the helmet is certified by the Department of Transportation, which is indicated by a DOT sticker. The helmet must fit properly while providing adequate insulation and ventilation. Manufacturers recommend that bikers buy new helmets every 3 to 5 years since perspiration and hair oil have a tendency to degrade the interior, which decreases the protection level.
Modern-day motorcycle jackets are created using synthetic materials or leather. The jacket must fit snugly without being too tight or bulky. Synthetic blends come in a variety of styles and colors that include reflective areas for maintaining visibility during night rides. Traditional leather jackets are heavy and may be more suitable for cold or inclement weather. Modern styles include mesh for ventilation and panels for added protection.
Although many riders prefer wearing traditional blue jeans, the fabric does not offer a great deal of protection. Motorcycle pants are made using denim, Kevlar, leather and other textiles. They are also created in various styles and colors. Some versions enable motorcyclists to wear everyday pants underneath. Some styles offer added protection on high impact areas that include the buttocks, hips and knees.
Motorcycle boots are designed to protect your foot and ankle in the event of a wreck. They are made using treated leather or various textile materials that are abrasion and water-resistant while offering ventilation. The soles are designed for traction. The footwear may have internal laces, buckles or Velcro to secure.
Motorcycle gloves are designed to protect the back and the palm of the hand. Motorcycle gloves are traditionally leather. However, textile combinations are also created with extra protection and waterproofing.
Each state has its own laws regarding the use of motorcycles. Failure to know these laws could not only result in a fine or penalty but also lead to serious legal consequences in the event of a motorcycle accident.
Tip #3: Obey traffic laws.
Obeying traffic laws is one of the best motorcycle safety tips you can follow. Adhere to lane markings, posted signs and speed limits. Yield the right of way when applicable. Do not exceed the speed limit or cut off other riders or vehicles.
In Georgia, lane splitting is against the law.
Tip #4: Be wary of the weather.
Wet, slushy roads increase the danger for motorcyclists of all experience levels. Fog greatly reduces visibility. During inclement weather, keep additional space between your bike and other vehicles. Be prepared to slow down or stop unexpectedly.
Tip #5: Avoid blind spots.
Motorcycles are much smaller than other vehicles. As such, creeping alongside a vehicle poses a risk as the other driver might not be able to see you approaching. Not all motorists watch out for motorcycles like they should. Thus, a vehicle may attempt to change lanes or make turns in front of your bike, which increases the risk of collision.
Tip #6: Stay alert at all times, especially at intersections.
Intersections are particularly dangerous areas for motorcyclists. Riders must watch for oncoming traffic when turning. Check for other vehicle’s turn signals and the direction of their front wheels. Watch where drivers of oncoming traffic are looking.
Tip #7: Maintain a safe distance.
Keeping a safe distance between your bike and other vehicles gives you sufficient time to react when needed. Slow down when approaching stopped traffic. Be alert to traffic approaching from behind. Stop close to the curb or put another vehicle between your bike and rear approaching traffic.
Tip #8: Ride sober.
Operating a motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol, prescription or illicit drugs decreases alertness and reaction time. Many motorcycles and other motor vehicle accidents occur because of inebriation. Similarly, don’t ride when you feel fatigued or drowsy.
When to consult a motorcycle accident attorney near you
In the event that you or a loved one are involved in a motorcycle collision wreck, consider consulting an attorney who specializes in these types of cases. You’ll want a lawyer with the right experience in personal injury and automotive collisions who can inform you of your rights under the law. A qualified attorney is also able to assist with insurance company negotiations and potential lawsuits.