A high-speed chase late Sunday evening blocked 2 lanes of traffic on I-75 in Georgia when police caught up to the motorcycle rider traveling southbound. Authorities from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office attempted to stop the driver, who was traveling 92 mph. when police started to pursue him.
The driver lost control maneuvering around a curve and hit a guardrail south of Rumble Road, which ejected him from the bike. Monroe County EMS responded to the motorcycle accident and pronounced the driver dead. The fatality is currently being investigated by the Georgia State Patrol.
Monroe County EDITED – a fatality accident on I-75 southbound at Rumble Road (exit 181) has blocked 2 of 4 lanes. Estimated time of clearance – 10:15 p.m. For help with alternate routes call #511Georgia. pic.twitter.com/YCFuR8WmC9
— GDOT West Central (@GDOTWest) October 12, 2020
Georgia motorcycle fatalities
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, nearly 5,000 fatalities occurred among motorcycle riders in 2018. This is almost a 5 percent decrease from prior years, but motorcyclists are still killed at higher rates than other motorists on Georgia roadways.
What to do if you’re pulled over
Being pulled over by the highway patrol or sheriff isn’t uncommon, but the experience is still scary. The most common reasons for being pulled over include driving over the speed limit, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, tailgating, and weaving in and out of traffic lanes.
If a patrol officer or policeman pulls you over while you’re riding your bike, you should:
1. Remain calm
Gently and carefully pull over to a safe spot on the side of the road. If it’s dark outside, find a spot that’s well-lit then turn off the ignition. This signals to the officer that you’re not going anywhere and are patiently waiting for further instructions. It avoids wasting gas since you’re probably not going anywhere for a few minutes.
Also, put down the kickstand and remain seated. This is an indication of good faith. It shows you’re not going to cause a problem or try to flee. You also won’t have to use your legs to hold up the motorcycle for several minutes.
Flip up your helmet safety visor and remove any protective eye gear so that the officer can clearly see your eyes. If your bike is equipped with hazard lights, turn them on.
2. Insurance, identification, and registration
The first thing a highway patrol officer, policeman or sheriff should do is introduce themselves and ask for proof of insurance, a valid form of identification and your motorcycle registration. Most riders either carry these inside their jacket pocket, in a tank bag or a saddlebag.
Before reaching for them, clearly and politely tell the officer where they are to avoid causing them alarm, and slowly reach for them.
Above all, certainly don’t flee from authorities—as the motorcyclist who sadly died in Monroe County did.
3. Listen and respond accordingly
Mouthing off is never helpful when you’re pulled over. So when you’re asked if you know the reason why you were pulled over, don’t try to be smart and give hypothetical answers.
If you don’t know, it’s okay to tell them. If you know for certain why you were pulled over, it’s best to keep it to yourself and let the officer do the talking.
How to prevent a motorcycle fatality
Several things that motorcyclists and drivers can do to prevent fatalities and injuries are simple practices that they can adapt while driving.
1. Keep your distance
Put space between yourself and the vehicle. This goes for motorcyclists and car drivers alike. Leave a minimum of 1 car length between yourself and the vehicle in front of you to prevent a collision on interstates, highways and rural roads.
2. Wear protective gear (motorcyclists)
Ever since we were kids learning to ride tricycles, we’ve heard our parents tell us to always wear a helmet. The same applies to when you’re riding a motorcycle—whether you are just learning or you’re a lifelong rider. Helmets are designed to protect your head in the event of an accident and can mean the difference between life and death.
Motorcycle drivers should also wear leather jackets, leather or heavy denim pants, and thick-soled shoes such as boots.
This safety wardrobe is the best way to protect yourself if you skid across the concrete or hit something (or someone hits you!). When falling, our first instinct is to throw our hands out to soften the blow. Wearing leather gloves will help prevent road rash, scratches and possibly infection if your bike falls over.
If your helmet doesn’t have a visor, wearing protective glasses or goggles will help protect your eyes against the sun and any dust or rocks that might be kicked up by other drivers.
Know your rights
If you’re pulled over or are involved in a motorcycle accident, you may feel as though you don’t deserve the ticket or that the accident wasn’t your fault. It’s your right to seek professional legal advice. With offices in Macon, Albany, and Warner Robins, our winning team of Georgia motorcycle accident attorneys will put your case first.
Arrange a free consultation with one of our team members at the law firm of Westmoreland, Patterson, Mosely & Hinson today if you or a loved one have been injured in an accident. We’ll help determine liability and help you get the maximum compensation possible.