Georgia Motorcycle Accidents: Why Do They Happen?

Georgia Motorcycle Accidents are some of the most serious types of injury cases handled by the lawyers at the Scholle Law Firm. In this presentation on Georgia Motorcycle Accidents, Scholle Law’s attorneys discuss the causes of these accidents, reminding readers that these serious injury cases are caused by both non-riding drivers in cars, trucks, and other vehicles as well as motorcyclist themselves. While liability is important in every injury case, this content focuses on the need for caution and focus by all those trying to navigate Georgia’s roads. As always, if you have a question for our Georgia motorcycle lawyers regarding this topic, contact us for a free case evaluation.

Georgia Motorcycle Accidents

All accidents are dangerous. Car versus car, car versus truck, etc. It does not matter because all vehicles have the potential to cause serious and deadly motor vehicle accidents. This is especially true for accidents involving motorcycle riders. Motorcycles do not give the rider the same type of protection that a car or truck can offer. Motorcycles do not have seatbelts.  Even with helmets, the results from Georgia motorcycle accidents can be catastrophic.

Because of this, there is always a focus on the serious injuries that occur with a motorcycle accident, and rightly so!  The issue of these serious injuries will always be front and center for all those involved with these accidents.  However, the issue of what causes motorcycle accidents is also important, as discussing the causes could potentially prevent more people from being injured in motorcycle accidents.

As we discuss the causes of motorcycle accidents in Georgia, we do not focus on fault. Every one of the potential causes is extremely relevant whether the rider or car / truck driver causes the accident. It is a safe bet to estimate that the overwhelming number of causes of motorcycle accidents are caused by driver error. Outside of issues related to weather, defective equipment or road conditions, motorcycle accidents generally occur when a driver of a car, truck or motorcycle makes a mistake. It is our desire that a focus on preventing these types of mistakes will prevent an accident or injury.

Failing to Yield

Left turns are responsible for a significant amount of motor vehicle accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that 22 percent of all pre-crash events (the event that made the crash imminent) relate to a vehicle turning left at an intersection.  These types of collisions are common and always dangerous. In many circumstances the left turning vehicle will be attempting to make a turn in front of fast approaching vehicle. Many times, the oncoming vehicle does not have time to slow before the collision.

These types of accidents are 100 percent driver error. In some cases, the left turning vehicle will misjudge the distance between their vehicle and the oncoming vehicle.  Other times it may be a situation where the oncoming vehicle is speeding. Additionally, there can be left turn accidents that result because of inattention of one or both drivers or failing to obey a stop sign or other traffic device. The bottom line with these types of accidents is that whether the motorcycle is making the left turn or happens to be the oncoming vehicle, the impact can be catastrophic.

Speed Kills

Too many of the accident reports reviewed by Scholle Law attorneys involve speeding or driving too fast for conditions. Speeding is a frequent contributing factor in single bike (no other vehicles involved) motorcycle accidents. Many times, a rider will lose control while trying to navigate a turn or a winding road too quickly. As previously mentioned, speed can also include scenarios involving left turns or other traffic patterns meeting at intersections.

Many claims involving reckless driving or racing certainly include speeding. Speed limits exist for a reason. Driving too fast limits the ability to make stops or other evasive maneuvers to prevent crashes and collisions. There is no way to 100 percent prevent all motor vehicle accidents but more drivers obeying the posted speed limits on surface streets and highways would certainly result in few accidents.  This goes for motorcyclists and all the vehicles on Georgia roads.

Don’t Disobey Georgia’s Rules of the Road!

It is fair to say that accidents caused by speeding, running stop signs and so many other examples of bad or unsafe driving are all moving violations or unlawful in some way. The penalties for speeding tickets or other citations are usually a fee paid to a court and the risk of increased insurance rates. More serious traffic offenses involving alcohol, drugs, reckless driving, hit and run, serious injuries or death may include more serious penalties such as jail time.

For the most part, traffic laws do not discriminate.  Drivers of cars, trucks and motorcycles get tickets every day in Georgia. However, there is a type of moving violation that generally singles out bikers and that is lane-splitting. Lane splitting is cutting or moving in and out between lanes to pass traffic. Many bikers believe that their vehicles can lawfully move ahead of stopped or slow-moving traffic because they can fit through the traffic.  Lane splitting is not lawful in Georgia.  

Lane splitting accidents are not uncommon. They happen generally because the other vehicle did not see the motorcycle navigating between the lanes. That does not mean that the other vehicle cannot be found negligent. However, it does mean that such accidents can often result in the motorcycle rider being injured with a hard road ahead to prove their case.  It is a best practice to always follow Georgia’s rules of the road.

Following Too Closely Is Not Safe

Everyone has done it. It happens every day. Whether the vehicle in front is too slow or the vehicle behind is impatient, tailgating happens. On the highway or on city streets, vehicles do not leave enough room between themselves and the vehicle in front of them. Speeding, lack of attention or another vehicle causing a sudden stop ahead are all things that will drive traffic to a sudden halt.

These accidents involve two vehicles and, in some cases, even more in a chain reaction scenario. This accident example is potentially deadly for the person on the motorcycle if they are the tailgater or the person being tailgated. Either way, the motorcyclist is likely to be thrown from their vehicle. Again, all vehicles are capable of tailgating and doing so results in rear end accidents every day in Georgia. Play it safe and leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.  

Drinking, Drugs and Driving Do Not Mix!

This is not new information. There is never a good reason or an excuse for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Too many Georgians are killed every year because of drug and alcohol related motor vehicle accidents. This includes drivers of motorcycles, cars, trucks, and all the other types of vehicles driven on Georgia’s roads. Drunk and drugged driving accidents are the only type of motor vehicle accidents that are 100 percent preventable. Never get on your bike or in your car or truck if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The Rest: Weather, Road Conditions and Mechanical Defects

Again, motor vehicle accidents are predominantly caused by driver error. However, this last category lumped together will account for most of the other common causes of motorcycle and motor vehicle accidents in Georgia. If the roads are slick, accidents will happen. When the pavement is in bad condition, accidents happen. If a vehicle has a mechanical failure an accident can happen.

Rain, snow, and ice are all bad news for Georgia roads. Slick roads are possible year-round and even more so in the winter when there can be rain, snow, and ice. Motorcycles do not have the 4-wheel stability of a car or truck. If even one of the tires loses traction on a slick road, a biker can easily be in a situation where they lose control or must lay their bike down. All drivers should drive / ride according to the conditions of the road.

Wear and tear and road construction leave Georgia’s roads with some less than desirable potholes, cracks and uneven pavement that is not fun or safe to drive on. Outside of being warned of uneven pavement by a road sign, many times drivers and bikers only see a pothole or dangerous crack before it is too late. Experienced and focused drivers understand the importance of “expect the unexpected” when it comes to driving. Because some driving conditions on Georgia roads can go bad quickly, always stay focused and concentrate.

Mechanical motorcycle defects happen unexpectedly. With new vehicles, unexpected defects will occur, and vehicle owners are generally made aware of them via a parts recall. Other times the vehicle owner will not find out about it until something goes wrong. Recently repaired bikes or cars can also have unexpected and dangerous mechanical failures if repair work is shoddy or done negligently. It is a good rule of thumb to make sure that you register your vehicle with its manufacturer so they can contact you in the event of a safety recall. Additionally, be careful who you trust to service your bike.   

Speak to an Attorney!

Scholle Law’s Georgia motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help! The law firm has the experience and resources to investigate motorcycle injury cases. No two cases are the same. Additionally, cut and dry or “slam dunk” cases are myths. Every case requires evidence and proof. On top of that there is still the issue of dealing with the insurance company. Do not expect them to “do the right thing” or look out for your best interests.  That is not their job.  It is our job!

Call Scholle Law for a Free Case Evaluation

Contact Scholle Law Firm today for a free consultation for your injury case. Our attorneys are here to answer your questions and listen to your concerns. Call now to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Georgia motorcycle accident attorneys. We look forward to hearing from you. 

To set up a meeting, call us today at (678) 921-3320 or contact us online