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Bikers, SEE How to Stay Safe

biker'shandonhandlebar.jpgGeorgia bikers are fortunate to have a resource that can help with many aspects of bike riding and safety. The Georgia Motorcycle Operator’s Manual is a fantastic resource for all riders. I recommend it to my clients in my practice as an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer.

One of the many areas the Motorcycle Operator’s Manual covers is how to ride safely in certain situations. In the first of a two-part series on safe riding and intersections, I want to ensure that riders understand their role in keeping safe.

National motorcycle safety statistics show that bike riders are particularly vulnerable in intersections. This is the “greatest potential for conflict between you and other traffic” according to the Georgia manual. It is said that more than half of all accidents involving motorcycles and passenger vehicles are actually “caused by drivers entering a rider’s right-of-way.”

The biggest dangers is from vehicles that are turning left in front of you as the bike rider. The critical factor in your safety is using the SEE method at intersections. The SEE method is described as follows.

First and foremost, be very aware at all times when riding what is going on around you. The tried and true method is called SEE — which is a three-step process that riders can apply in many situations with which they are confronted. First is search, second is evaluate and third is execute.

The first step is to search. This requires watching all angles around you and very intently. The best way to reduce the potential for problems is to leave room around you and seek out routes you can use if you get into a jam. Particularly, watch for oncoming traffic and potential turns, left and right traffic, the traffic behind you and road hazards. Make sure you are aware of the way other drivers might be able to see you better and avoid being “lost” in the traffic shuffle from others.

The next step is to evaluate. This is more about assessing risk and anticipating the possible issues that could arise and a plan to reduce risk at any given time. This includes evaluating the road and its surface, being aware of road conditions, bridges, and obstructions (such as trees and telephone poles) on a curve or elsewhere and other potential hazards. Watching for traffic signs is also part of this process. Of course, other vehicles and their potential movement is important to notice. Leaving space in case of an emergency around you is vital.

The last step is to execute. This requires decisiveness and communication. The point is to make sure those around you know you are there. Use your lights or horn and adjust both your speed and your position. This also requires letting two hazards separate … in other words, if you see the potential for a lane change hazard due to other vehicles, wait and let those vehicles separate for you to make your lane change. Always give yourself room to move. And make sure that you are seen.

My Gwinnett County law practice centers around personal injury of all types. When you contact my law office, you can speak with me personally about your motorcycle accident or injury at no charge at all. You will not pay for this consultation. From our main office in Gwinnett County, we serve clients from offices in Buckhead and the Perimeter and represent clients throughout Atlanta and Georgia including Fulton County, Cobb County, Forsyth County, Dekalb County, Walton County, Jackson County and more.