11 Alive News is reporting about a deadly motorcycle accident involving a motorcycle and suv that occurred in Clayton County at the intersection of Tara Boulevard and McDonough Road near the Home Depot in Lovejoy. Clayton County Police responded to the accident scene and indicated that the crash involved the motorcycle and SUV.
Fox 5 Atlanta also reported that the crash remains under investigation at the time of this post. Clayton County Sherriff’s Office was also quoted in the news story, indicating that a stretch of the southbound lanes along Tara Boulevard in Clayton County were completely shutdown due to the deadly crash. The driver of the black SUV was taken to the hospital for accident related injuries and the person on the motorcycle passed away as a result of the accident.
We send our most sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of the motorcyclist that passed away as a result of the Clayton County motorcycle accident referenced above. Routinely our office reports on very serious accidents to bring attention to the potential dangers associated with navigating our Georgia roads on cars, trucks, motorcycles, commercial vehicles, bicycles and as pedestrians. We hope the information that we share will make our roads safer and prevent serious injury accidents.
National and Georgia Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website reports that 4,985 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in 2018. While the number was a 5% decrease from previously reported stats, there is still a lot that can be done to promote motorcycle safety and prevent serious motorcycle related injuries and fatalities.
The 2019 Georgia Traffic Fatality Data provided by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia includes motorcycle accident data related to fatal motorcycle accidents occurring in Georgia in the years 2010 – 2019. For the year 2019, the data reflects that 170 motorcyclists were killed on Georgia roads in 2019.
Of the 170 motorcyclists that were killed in motorcycle accidents in Georgia in 2019, 15 were not wearing helmets at the time of the crashes. The chart does not give additional information related to the causes of these fatal accidents or whether or not the person on the motorcycle was responsible for the crash. Here is a screen grab of that chart:
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia also makes a special point to draw attention to the importance of helmet use as it relates to preventing serious motorcycle accident related injuries and fatalities. Specifically, the office provides insight into the success of helmet use in preventing loss of life in motorcycle accidents in Georgia. Their chart also reflects the number of additional lives that could be saved if 100% of motorcyclists wore helmets. Here is the corresponding chart as a screen grab from their site:
The bottom line regarding this information is that there is room for improvement regarding helmet use for motorcyclists in Georgia. Additionally, while this data may not tell the complete story of what caused these fatal accidents, the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents in Georgia over the last 10 years is not insignificant. There are always things that motorcyclists and non-motorcyclists can do to make our Georgia roads safer for everyone. Below is some well known and shared information about motorcycle safety.
Motorcycle Safety Information From The NHTSA
- All drivers should be aware of motorcycles and all of the other vehicles they share the road with. All drivers must know that motorcyclists face safety challenges based on their size, visibility and lack of protection in the event of an accident. Additionally, motorcyclists often operate their vehicles in ways including downshifting and weaving, and if drivers are not aware of those types of driving practices, they may not know how to safely respond when a motorcyclist downshifts or weaves.
- Motorcyclists must understand the dangers of riding. Motorcyclists are 28 times as likely as a passenger car occupant to die in a motor vehicle accident crash. The NHTSA reminds motorcyclists that safe motorcycling takes balance, coordination, and good judgment.
- Motorcyclists need to be properly licensed and insured. Generally, to be licensed (depending on the state) there are written tests and road skill tests that need to be passed in order to have the proper license to operate a motorcycle. Additionally, (again depending on the state) a motorcycle will need to be in good operating shape, registered and insured before you are able to lawfully operate it.
- If you are lawfully operating your motorcycle then we would assume that you know how to properly do so. However, that is not always the case. Make sure you know how to operate it and feel comfortable with it before going out on the open road. Essentially, practice your riding before operating it on a busy road or highway.
- Keep your motorcycle in good shape. Before you operate it make sure that the tire has good air pressure, the lights work and that the signals are functioning properly. Also, make sure that you are balanced. That means that make sure that the bike is able to operate properly based on the load you are carrying or if you are riding with a passenger. If you are riding with a passenger make sure that they know the proper way to sit and hold on.
- Always wear proper gear. This includes a helmet and covering arms and legs. It is not only good for protecting you from the elements, but of course the gear is there in the event of a crash or in case you have to lay the bike down. Proper gear can include leather or heavy denim and boots that cover the ankles. Gloves are there for the purpose of giving a better grip and for keeping the hands safe if a crash happens. Don’t forget to wear bright and reflective clothing. You want to be visible to all of the others that you are sharing the road with.
- Follow the rules of the road. Obey speed and other signage and lights. Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and non-motorcycles. This same idea goes for drivers of cars, suvs and trucks as well. Remember, motorcyclists downshift and use other riding techniques, so give them plenty of room and keep a safe distance.
- No drugs and alcohol is a safety tip that must be followed. This includes prescription medication that can impair your ability to safely operate the bike. Additionally, this is not only for your safety and the safety of others, but it is great way to avoid a ticket or jail.
These are commonly promoted ideas and safety tips that most riders have heard many times before. However, if these ideas were followed all the time it is safe to say that there may be less motorcycle accidents resulting in serious accidents and deaths. Additionally, this is not an all encompassing list for motorcycle safety. Anyone that is looking for the best practices for safely operating a bike should take a safety class. Even if you have already got your license a refresher course in motorcycle safety is not a bad idea.
Motorcycle Accident or Injury? We are here to help.
Our Georgia roads are busy and dangerous for all drivers including those on motorcycles. Neither motorcyclists or drivers in other vehicles should ever forget that they are sharing the road with others. The roads can be made safer if all drivers would follow the rules of the road and be cognizant and fully aware of the road at all times when they are operating their vehicles. This means don’t drive distracted or under the influence.
Additionally, there all of the other previously mentioned safety ideas and lots of other things that can be learned from a defensive driving class and motorcycle safety class. Motorcycles can be fun and dependable ways for people to navigate our Georgia roads, but everyone must remember the significant risk for serious consequences if a motorcyclist does not operate their vehicle safely. This goes the same for the vehicles operating along with them.
We hope that this information is a useful reminder for everyone out on the roads. While we understand that the roads will never be safe from accidents, we know that they can be safer and we encourage everyone to never forget that. If we can ever help anyone with a question about any motor vehicle related accident or injury including a motorcycle accident, please feel free to let us be a resource for you. The very sad news of this Clayton County motorcycle accident is troubling and our thoughts are with everyone impacted by it.
Please be mindful that all roads, highways and anywhere you operate a vehicle can be dangerous. Please be safe.
To set up a call, you can reach us at 770-717-5100 or contact us online.