The primary reason that so many Georgia auto accidents involve motorcycles is because Georgia drivers are not educated or aware of the unique safety concerns and precautions that need to be taken when sharing the road with individuals who are riding motorcycles. Many drivers know to watch out for pedestrians, to watch out for large commercial trucks, and to be aware of the people in other vehicles around them; yet they neglect to watch for motorcyclists.
The majority of Georgia auto accidents that involve motorcycles are caused by other drivers, in cars, trucks, and SUVs. These drivers may like to blame the motorcyclist; but in most cases, the motorcyclist was obeying the laws of the road, had every right to be there, and did nothing to cause the accident. In fact, motorcyclists tend to drive more safely than others because they are aware of the unique risks that they face. Following are some of the common reasons that Georgia auto accidents with motorcyclists occur, and how you can do your part to prevent them.
Many Drivers Fail to See or Notice Motorcyclists
We often hear of accidents caused by blind spots, meaning that one vehicle was in the blind spot of another, typically a large commercial trucker which is unable to see everything around their vehicle as well as drivers of smaller vehicles. It is always wise to avoid being in a driver’s blind spot. Yet, motorcyclists seem to embody the personification of a blind spot. Even when they are completely visible to other vehicles, those other vehicle drivers fail to see them, anyway. This is because drivers aren’t looking for them. They are looking out for pedestrians, other vehicles, and other hazards; but they aren’t looking for motorcycles, and they simply fail to see them. You can make a huge difference just by making a point of looking for motorcycles on the road, just as much as you look for pedestrians and other cars.
Motorcycles Are Traveling Faster and Closer Than They Appear to Be
Even if you make a point of looking out for motorcycles, you can make the mistake of thinking that the biker is further away than they actually are, based on how things look in your rear view mirror and side mirrors. Smaller objects, like motorcycles, are often much closer than they appear in mirrors. This causes a very common type of accident with a motorcycle in which a car turns left in front of a motorcycle that is much closer, and moving much faster, than the driver expected. To prevent this kind of accident, you simply have to remember that the bike is moving faster than you think and it is probably closer than you think, and take the necessary precautions. Don’t turn left in front of a motorcycle that might be closer than it appears.
Using Your Bright Lights Can Blind an Oncoming Motorcyclist
Using your bright lights improves your vision of the road at night, but they can affect the vision of anyone in oncoming traffic. It is always wise to dim your brights at night when you see any traffic coming towards you. This is especially important when you see a single headlight coming in your direction. The single headlight is a motorcycle, and the motorcyclist needs to be able to see, to balance, and to not be distracted by a blinding light.
Roadway Litter Is a Hazard to Motorcyclists
Littering is illegal for many obvious reasons. Nobody wants the roadways to become a trash heap, and throwing trash out of your window causes a hazard for other drivers. This is especially true for motorcyclists. Someone driving a motorcycle has no external protection to prevent your cigarette butt, fast food wrappers, or tossed drinks from impacting their person. When your litter hits or distracts any driver, this is a hazard that can lead to an accident. When your litter hits or distracts someone on a motorcycle, this can be deadly.
Honking is Louder and More Distracting to Motorcyclists
There are times when it is appropriate to honk your horn for safety reasons. You may need to draw the attention of another driver to yourself or to a dangerous hazard in the roadway. Because of this need, horns are made to be very loud – enough to be heard in other vehicles and over any other noise within those vehicles. Yet a motorcyclist is not inside of the cab of a vehicle, so the sound is much louder, much more startling, and much more hazardous. Add to this the fact that many drivers use their horns to express their anger or annoyance, rather than to alert other drivers, and you wind up with a very dangerous situation. Avoid using your horn unless it is absolutely necessary to prevent such accidents.
Victims of Motorcycle Auto Accidents in Georgia
If you or a loved one was the victim of a motorcycle auto accident in Georgia, then the Georgia auto accident attorneys at the Law Office of John B. Jackson can help. Contact us for a free consultation and we’ll discuss the unique circumstances of your accident and how to go about seeking the compensation that you need to be made whole again.