As fall weather approaches, Georgia motorcycle enthusiasts will likely head out on their final rides of the season. Whether riding up to Wolf Pen Gap or taking US 411 out toward Atlanta, bikers need help staying safe on the road.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists make up 14% of traffic fatalities despite accounting for only 3% of all vehicles. Georgia motorists can help bikers stay safe and enjoy the season with a few tips.

Increase motorcycle safety with the basics

Most drivers operate their vehicles with care and consideration, ensuring they understand the traffic around them before maneuvering. Accidents still happen and are mostly caused by driver error. Where a minor collision might cause some cosmetic damage and a heated argument between two sedan drivers, that same accident may prove fatal for a motorcycle.

Drivers can help keep bikers safe by sticking to these driving basics:

  • Share the road: Most drivers are not familiar with how motorcycles move and interact with traffic. Responsible drivers will put more space between a motorcycle and their own car to make sure they have enough time and space to react safely.
  • Use turn signals: Good drivers understand that turn signals only exist to communicate with other drivers. Proper use helps every motorist on the road make smarter decisions. When driving near bikers, signal early to give them as much time as they need to recognize the signal and react.
  • Be careful turning left: Many motorcycle accidents occur in busy intersections where drivers can become confused or misled by other drivers. Careful turns can help motorcyclists make better decisions and allow drivers more time to stop if necessary.
  • Double-check blind spots: About two-thirds of all multi-vehicle accidents occur when another vehicle violates a biker’s right-of-way. When changing lanes, make sure to signal properly and double-check blind spots specifically for motorcycles.
  • Turn off high-beams: Bikers do not get as much comprehensive visual protection as drivers with fully-enclosed windshields. At night, careful drivers will refrain from using their high-beams unless they know they are alone on the road.
  • Use a designated driver: Though illegal in all 50 states, many drivers attempt to drink and drive. This reckless behavior endangers every person on the road, especially motorcyclists.

A lawyer can help secure damages

Motorcyclists who have suffered an accident with a car or truck may seek damages by hiring a lawyer familiar with Georgia motor vehicle law. An attorney can navigate dense insurance paperwork and draft a settlement agreement.