With winding roads, open expanses and unparalleled scenery, northern Georgia is a motorcycle rider’s paradise. Unfortunately, though, Georgia also has a higher number of rider fatalities than most other states.
As a car driver, you have a vital role to play in keeping motorcyclists safe. While following the rules of the road is an important way to reduce accident risk, you can take other steps as well.
- Check blind spots
Because motorcycles are smaller than cars, trucks and SUVs, they can easily hide in driver blind spots. Therefore, you must identify your vehicle’s blind spots and check them before turning or changing lanes. This likely requires looking over your shoulder or turning your head.
- Maintain the lane
Motorcycle riders often engage in lane splitting, where they ride toward the edge of a lane of slow-moving or stopped traffic. Accordingly, you should try to maintain your lane every time you drive. This strategy gives motorcycle riders an opportunity to maneuver safely around your vehicle.
- Send clear signals
Driver and rider safety often depends on predictability. That is, to stay safe on the road, you must notify others of your driving plans. Use your blinker a few seconds before changing lanes or turning. Likewise, rather than slamming on your brakes, you should decelerate slowly when possible.
- Stay alert at nighttime
Motorcycles and their riders can be hard to see during nighttime hours. While riders can take steps to increase their visibility, such as turning on their headlights or attaching reflectors to their gear, you should also take care to maintain focus during evening and early morning hours. This includes avoiding drowsy driving.
- Expect the unexpected
Unlike many motor vehicles, which are large and bulky, motorcycles are often fast and agile. If you see a motorcycle, you should expect it to move into your space quickly.
By expecting the unexpected and practicing a few other safe-driving techniques, you can do your part to reduce the number of rider fatalities and serious injuries on northern Georgia roadways.