When a recession hits those who want to downsize their cars or give them up to save on gas, they usually opt to buy a motorbike. Not a bad idea, but with that choice comes an increased risk of serious personal injuries or even death.
In Georgia alone in 2008 there were over 390,000 motorcycles registered. That shouldn’t come as any great surprise in light of the state of the American economy. Gas prices are ridiculous and people are hunting for alternative methods to get to work and other places. In other words, they want a cheaper ride. On the other side of the fence, even though the ride is indeed a whole lot less expensive than owning a car, there are a lot of distracted (cell phone and texting) drivers out there. Add reckless drivers into the mix and this is a guaranteed recipe for disaster.
Know the laws of the state chosen to bike in, as every state does have different laws passed that are intended to help protect vehicle drivers and motorcyclists. In most states the law reads that bikers have many of the same rights and duties as other vehicles on the road.
Some of the laws aimed at protecting people include protective equipment use where the biker is required to use protective headgear and eyewear, unless they are over 21 years old, have had a license for two years, and have completed a safety course. What difference the age of the rider makes when it comes to wearing safety helmets and eye protection is a bit baffling, since older riders are at risk for accidents as well, but this is one of the reasons you need to know the law.
The laws for lane use for motorbikes are the same as those for cars. In other words they may use the whole lane and must not pass a vehicle using the same lane as the car being overtaken. What is different is that motorbikes are allowed to drive two abreast in a single lane of traffic for added safety.
Headphones and earphones are not allowed unless it is a hearing aid or a single cell phone earpiece. Any passengers may only ride on a permanently attached seat on the motorcycle and the biker may not carry anything that would interfere with the bike’s safe operation. In many states as well any bikes built after 1982 must have lighted headlamps on at all times and when it comes to insurance, all bikes are required to have liability insurance to deal with any injuries or property damage sustained by another person in a crash. Interestingly, in some states bikers aren’t mandated to carry medical insurance to cover their own personal injuries.
If faced with a motorcycle accident, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney to answer any questions that have come up and discuss legal options.