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Georgia Riders … See and Be Seen

motorcyclecrash.jpgAs a Gwinnett County motorcycle crash lawyer, I was sad to learn about a case that involved the death of a Cobb County rider. I was particularly interested in this case because I recently represented a family and secured a major recovery for them of $1,550,000 in the wrongful death of a motorcycle rider who was killed when an automobile driver failed to yield just has happened in this case.

Earlier this fall, a Cobb County man was killed while riding his motorcycle in Florida. He spent two weeks in a hospital there until he passed away from his injuries. In that motorcycle accident, the rider was struck by a driver who failed to yield to him while he rode his 2003 Harley Davidson. The deceased rider was not wearing a helmet.

There are important steps that you can take to protect yourself from drivers. One of those is wearing a helmet. It is really an important step in defensive bike riding.

Another important area for you to consider is the situation in which a driver does not see you. Although we do not have many facts in this case, we do know that the driver was cited for failing to yield. What can Georgia riders do to be sure that they are seen and do not end up in a tragic motorcycle accident?

If you consult with the important information found in the Georgia Motorcycle Operators Manual, you will find some important tips on this point. The manual notes that “[a]s a rider you can’t be sure that other operators will see you or yield the right of way.” There are several things noted in the manual as steps you can take to lower your chances of being involved in a crash.

First, be sure that you are visible. This sounds like common sense, but sometimes we forget that drivers might not be able to see us as easily as we think. Because of this it is really important to wear clothing that can be seen at night, make sure that your headlight is on while you are riding and also be certain that you are riding in a lane position that enables others to see you and enables you to have the best visibility too.

Second, be sure to “[c]ommunicate your intentions.” That means letting drivers and others know that you are going to make a move, such as changing lanes and making a turn in an intersection. This means that you should be aware of using your signals, making sure your brake light is in order and be aware of the lane you are in and whether your position lets others know you are there.

Third, be sure to leave enough space for you to stop if you need to in any situation. That means maintaining enough room between you and the other vehicles around you when you are following, sharing a lane, passing, or being passed.

Fourth, think ahead and make sure you are very aware of the road ahead of you. So it is important that you “[s]earch your path of travel 12 seconds ahead.”

Fifth, if you are able to “[i]dentify and separate multiple hazards” you will be better able to set up a safer riding experience. That means you need to be thinking about what is on the road in front of you and avoid ensnarling yourself in potentially dangerous situations.

Last, but not least, “[b]e prepared to act — remain alert and know how to carry out proper crash-avoidance skills.” This means that you have got to really know your bike and how to handle yourself in varying circumstances. You do not want to end up relying on someone else for your safety, so the best way to ensure that is to be the best rider you can be and learn as much as you can about safety and crash avoidance in any given situation. If you are a new rider, get training and some time on the road with experienced riders.

The Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle, P.C., represents motorcycle riders and their families in serious personal injury and wrongful death tragedies. We have successfully represented many victims of injury and their families, who have suffered major injuries or the loss of a loved one due to the negligence or wrongful conduct of another person or entity. I work diligently to secure my clients the best outcome possible. Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time for a free and private consultation at one of our conveniently-located Atlanta area offices.