Everyone knows that wearing a helmet as a motorcyclist is an essential safety measure – in fact, the state of Georgia legally requires motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. But if you are not a biker, you might be surprised to know that a motorcycle’s loud exhaust pipes are also a safety measure! The road can be a dangerous place for motorcyclists, and a rider whose bike is too quiet is in even more danger of being struck by a motorist who did not notice them. Make sure you are protected as a motorcycle rider by downloading a copy of Ride Ready. And if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact the Don Turner Legal Team today for a free virtual consultation.
Protection Doesn’t Stop with a Helmet
Motorcycle helmets and loud exhaust pipes can help keep a motorcyclist safe. Following traffic rules, riding defensively, and wearing the appropriate protective gear can also minimize your chances of getting involved in a fatal collision or suffering severe injuries. But essential protection for a motorcyclist does not stop there. Under Georgia law, you are required to carry proof of liability insurance at all times if you own or operate a motorcycle. You also need to make sure that you have the right kind of insurance coverage.
Motorcyclists in Georgia must carry a minimum of $25,000 liability insurance coverage for bodily injuries or death of one person in an accident, $50,000 liability coverage for injuries or death of all parties in an accident, and $25,000 liability coverage for property damage caused by a single accident. You cannot afford to simply scrape by with these minimums. If you injure someone in a collision, that $25,000.00 will not cover the medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering of the other party. You need to carry at least $100,000 in liability coverage and more if you can afford it.
You also need to make sure you have uninsured and underinsured motorist’s coverage. Bikers tend to suffer more catastrophic injuries than those driving or riding other motor vehicles, and if you are involved in a collision with motorist who does not carry liability insurance or only carries the bare minimum in coverage, you will not be compensated for your injuries. Uninsured and underinsured motorist’s coverage will help cover you, should you be involved in a collision with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Better yet, this type of coverage is inexpensive, costing an average of 10 to 20 a month.
There are other types of motorcycle insurance coverage that bikers need to consider including in their insurance plan. Collision coverage will protect your bike and reimburse you for repairs or replacement after an accident. Comprehensive coverage can cover any damage to your bike not caused by an accident. This includes vandalism, fire, and theft. Be aware that this type of coverage may only cover certain parts of your motorcycle. If you customized your bike, you may need additional optional part coverage.
Road Risks for Motorcycle Riders
Why are motorcyclists legally required to carry liability insurance? That is because bikers are exposed to unique dangers that other motorists do not have to worry about. For one, a motorcycle is a much smaller vehicle than a car or a truck, making it much easier for the driver of another vehicle to overlook it by accident. That is why it is so important for a motorcyclist to make sure their bike can be heard – their smaller size means that other vehicles, road conditions, and weather can keep them from being seen.
Because a motorcycle is more difficult for other motorists to see or anticipate than a car or a truck would be, a driver at an intersection might not realize that a motorcyclist is approaching and turn too soon, causing a collision. In fact, over 70 percent of motorcycle vs. vehicle collisions take place at intersections. Lane changes are more dangerous for motorcycle riders for similar reasons. Many drivers already fail to pay attention to their blind spots before conducting a lane change, nd since motorcycles are harder to notice than cars, a driver might change lanes without realizing the motorcyclist is even there.
When you ride a motorcycle, you are not protected by steel like the driver of a car or a truck would be. That means that things that can be irritating for a driver, such as potholes in the road, oil slicks, or uneven pavement can be downright hazardous for a motorcyclist. Furthermore, an untimely collision can cause you to be thrown from the bike.
These factors place bikers at a much greater risk of being killed in a crash than the driver of a car or a truck. In fact, according to a report by the NHTSA, the rider of a motorcycle is 28 times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than someone riding in a car. The risk of being involved in a fatal accident goes up for a motorcyclist for every mile traveled.
Motorcycle crashes also carry a much higher likelihood of severe injuries compared to other motor vehicle accidents. 96% of single vehicle accidents and 98% of multiple vehicle collisions result in injury to a motorcyclist – these are statistics you cannot afford to ignore. Common injuries suffered by motorcyclists in collisions include traumatic brain injuries, injuries to the legs, spinal cord injuries, damaged ribs, and road rash – severe abrasions caused by a motorcyclist sliding across the pavement.
Make Sure You Have the Right Legal Protection Too
Even if you carry the right kind of liability coverage as a motorcyclist, insurance companies will stop at nothing to save money if you are involved in an accident. While it is unfair, juries have a prejudice against bikers in personal injury cases. This bias may be used by insurance adjusters as a reason to reduce your settlement offer if you are involved in an accident. It also means that the burden of making a concrete case can fall on an injured motorcycle accident victim.
The roads can be riskier for bikers, and the cost of a motorcycle crash can be much steeper than it is for other motorists. You want to make sure you have the right kind of insurance protection before you get on the road, and you want to make sure you are compensated if you are involved in a motorcycle accident. That is why you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, contact our law office today and see how we can help you.