Good as Gold, but Fast?

March 2, 2014, by

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Motorcycle riders in the sunset.jpgIf you thought you had seen the most beautiful of bikes every created, you might be wrong unless you attended the recent sale reported by Robert Frank in his piece Road Hog: $1 Million Motorcycle Coming Soon. Mr. Frank reports that a Danish custom motorcycle guru has now sold a very very golden bike to the tune of $850,000. But is there even greater gold ahead? Apparently, this same maker has hinted at a new endeavor that will result in a bike that is likely to be sold at One Million Dollars.

First, the bike that just sold which has been aptly named "Goldfinger," is quite sparkly with not only gold plated parts, diamonds as well. Tough to miss this one on the afternoon ride. Naturally, a private buyer owns this gorgeous piece of bike history. But the identity of the owner and his or her place of residence is not known and will not be revealed unless spotted out on the open road somewhere. Next up, is another custom work of art that will move into the seven figures. Now, that would be some rich ride.

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Safe Riding, Safe Braking

February 17, 2014, by

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Motorcycle riders in the sunset.jpgWe are saddened by reports that a motorcycle rider died recently in Clayton County in the early evening hours. The reports indicate that the rider was traveling north on Georgia 85 when his bike crashed into the rear of another stopped vehicle. We don't know the cause of this crash, whether there was a malfunction of the bike's brakes or whether the rider simply did not see the stopped vehicle or misgauged the distance needed to brake. But any loss of life is a tragedy and perhaps this rider's passing can serve as a reminder about braking and bikes.

Lots of riders have something to say about braking on a bike and how to gauge distance and speed. Most bikes' braking systems make it possible to stop within seconds of braking. But of course the faster you are going, the more distance it will take to stop your bike. Effective braking requires practice and it is one of the most important skills a rider can work on over time. The more experienced riders know that it isn't always predictable how quickly his or her bike will stop in any given conditions. Distances required to stop become greater quite quickly, the faster the bike is going. Slowing down when you think you might need to brake is a good way to help yourself and your bike to stop in time before hitting an immoveable object. Assuming that the road in front of you will be predictable at all times is a big mistake.

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Clayton County Fatal Motorcycle Crash

February 3, 2014, by

helmet-on-bicycle-10045610.jpgWe are reminded of the serious intersection dangers for motorcyclists as we learn that a corrections officer has lost his life in such a crash. The Clayton County officer was in the southbound lane when he was struck and killed by another vehicle. Although reports are unclear on the precise facts, it appears that there were two other vehicles involved. One that came out in front of the motorcycle and another that struck the officer in the southbound lane in which he was traveling. It could well be that the motorcyclist was hit when trying to avoid the first vehicle that pulled in front of him in the intersection.

Unfortunately, we cannot post enough about the dangers to bikers in situations involving intersections. The problem is so serious that one national insurance company has initiated an intersection safety campaign that includes posting warnings to drivers at intersections known to be dangerous. The effort is intended to remind motorists that checking an intersection just one time for other vehicles and motorcycles is not sufficient.

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Serious Injuries and Worse in Cobb County Bicycle Crash

December 8, 2013, by

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for bicycles on georgia roadAs we approach the holiday season, there is a greater likelihood that fun and holiday cheer will result in tragedy on the road. In modern life we have become somewhat used to the hectic nature of the season and the losses made more poignant by this season. And when loss occurs during this time of year, families suffer a greater sense of this loss because this is a time when families gather. Sadly, a Cobb County incident involving a DUI, resulted in the death of one person and injuries to the allegedly drunk driver and a bicyclist just before the holiday season in late October. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that charges have already been filed against the driver in this incident and an arrest is likely to follow.

The nature of the charges including the most serious first degree vehicular homicide which is found at Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-393 , derive from an incident that occurred earlier this fall. The reported facts are that the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed and struck the bicyclist, then hit a tree. His passenger was killed also the man riding his bicycle on Riverside Parkway was seriously injured. Unfortunately the bicycle rider sustained injuries that involved the spinal cord and cervical spine, but were said to be survivable. The driver also sustained some level of injury.

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Things That Can Save a Biker's Life

November 29, 2013, by

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for motorcycleriderleg.jpegEarlier this month, a young biker was tragically killed after sustaining traumatic injuries. He was riding his motorcycle on an Athens street and apparently was struck by a vehicle that was exiting a drive way. The rear of the vehicle collided with the young rider who was a graduate of Peachtree Ridge High School and a student at the University of Georgia. In the early reports, the authorities indicated that it was possible the 22-year old biker's helmet was not fastened completely since it flew off during the impact of the crash. This tragic loss of life is made all the more tragic if the helmet could have saved the young man's life.

In Georgia, the numbers of bikers killed while riding are down slightly since 2008. But that is not the case in nearby Tennessee. Authorities in Tennessee have noted that motorcycle crash fatalities are actually rising. Just this fall, three crashes occurred in nearby Chattanooga very close in time to one another. A young woman was critically injured after being ejected from a bike she was riding on as a passenger. Her helmet was apparently not secured, similarly to the recent crash in Athens, Georgia, as it flew off and she ended up in a lane of traffic.

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Grief and Disbelief After Head-on Tragedy

October 21, 2013, by

candles .jpgA beautiful autumn ride turned horrific after five individuals lost their lives on a country road at a beautiful location on the Pennsylvania - Maryland border. The countryside in this area is similar to that found around the hills and mountains in Georgia and the story of what happened is still being uncovered. One thing is for sure, four bikers and an SUV passenger have lost their lives and the grief for the families and the community is overwhelming. Over many years as an Atlanta motorcycle injury lawyer, I have represented motorcyclists and their families deal with the legal and medical issues involved in motorcycle accidents. This recent crash is very tragic.

In addition to the fact that this accident is reported to be the most severe that has ever occurred in the small border township in which it occurred in the loss of life and injury, the cause really remains a mystery. On a perfect fall afternoon at around 2 in the afternoon, two bikes, each carrying a passenger were riding at the area of the Blue Ridge Summit. The bikes somehow ended up in a deadly collision with an SUV.

Updated reports are now indicating that for the SUV apparently traveled into the opposite lane of traffic and hit one of the motorcycles. Subsequently, the second bike hit the vehicle. The cause of the drifting of the SUV is not currently known. The crash was so horrific, that all four on the bikes were killed along with an SUV passenger.

Due to the severity of this crash, the emergency responders received extra support because according to reports the accident scene was worse than most had ever seen. At least one person survived and has been taken to the hospital in Maryland. Perhaps the survivor will be able to help authorities piece together what happened.

Bikers know that the beautiful rides of fall can be among the most peaceful and wonderful there are. The cool air, drifting leaves and open road are so inviting. The unexpected collision, particularly one in which bikes and other motor vehicles collide head-on is not what we think about as we get on the open road.

But when we are driving or riding at even normal rates of speed and we end up facing another vehicle coming towards us in our lane ... what can we do to try to avoid tragedy? Are there any technological advances that might avoid such a collision? Researchers have already established that the use of helmets in general can save a biker's life. The famous and renown study done in the early 1980's for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (The Hurt Report) established key factors in motorcycle safety. The NHTSA continues to work on identifying risk exposure to riders and how to best communicate to the biking community about crash avoidance. But some situations on the road present challenges that even the most experienced and cautious riders might not be able to manage safely.

One of those is a situation in which vehicles (bikes and cars, or bikes and trucks for example) traveling in the opposite direction from one another end up in the same lane. Perhaps in the future there could be some sort of warning system using a GPS-like system to detect the other vehicle. But even this will not assist if there is no where to safely pull over to avoid collision.

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Guardrail Collision End Marietta Biker's Life

October 12, 2013, by

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for motorcycleriderleg.jpegWe have posted in the past about the fact that single vehicle accidents that involve road departure can be among the most dangerous for bikers. Just this weekend, a Marietta man took his last ride early Saturday morning. It is my job as Gwinnett County motorcycle lawyer, to represent the families of those who have been injured or have lost their lives in bike crashes and it is very sad and difficult to go through such an experience.

Reports indicate the Marietta Police are currently investigating a crash involving one motorcycle that was traveling on the Canton Road Connector. The bike was ridden by a 26 year-old man. He was on a 2004 Suzuki motorcycle in a location that is east of I-75 and specifically on the Canton Road Connector.

It is suspected from witness to the crash that the bike was speeding at the time of the accident. The rider lost control of the bike which left the road and hit a guardrail. Tragically, the biker died at the scene of the accident. Our deepest sympathies go the family and friends of this young man, whose life is gone too soon.

Although the investigation of this accident is not complete, speed may well have been a factor. The Marietta crash is another example of how treacherous it is to drive at excess speeds. We read all too often about situations in which motor vehicles and motorcycles leave the roadway and hit objects that include trees, mailboxes, telephone polls and guardrails. Very often, and all too often these crashes result in serious injury or fatality.

Guardrails are there to protect lives, but they can be unforgiving in a collision. We have shared with readers that collisions involving road departures and guardrails are very dangerous for all vehicles, but especially for motorcycles.

The National Academies of Science provided grants in late 2010 to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute's (VTTI) Center for Injury Biomechanics to review and gather information on fatal road departure crashes. The study is still underway and should be completed some time next year. This study involves both passenger vehicles and also is focusing specifically on motorcycle road departure crashes.

The current study should provide very essential information on just how road departure crashes occur and identify very precisely the patter of injuries and fatalities that occur in these crashes. The primary factors contributing to these crashes include speed and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. One study underway specifically involves the injuries that result in fatal motorcycle crashes and roadside barriers.

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Recent Crashes Across Atlanta Included Bikers and Cyclists

September 23, 2013, by

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Motorcycle rider on fall roadway.jpgA series of horrific crashes around Atlanta and Georgia earlier this month has left motorists, including bikers and cyclists injured and worse. These accidents were not due to bad weather or visibility, but apparently were just a constellation of terrible circumstances with tragic results. We posted about a string of deadly and serious accidents on our Atlanta Injury Attorneys Blog.

In one bike crash, a 46-year-old rider died after losing control of his motorcycle. His bike left the road on Cobb Parkway near Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta. In another incident on the same night, two bikers from Lithia Springs, were both killed after hitting a car stopped on I-285 southbound between Camp Creek Parkway and Washington Road. And a third motorcyclist, 43-year-old of Douglasville, was also injured in the accident.

And on Georgia 400, a woman riding on the back of a bike, was thrown off of it when her brother, the driver clipped a wall. She was then hit by another vehicle that left the scene and police are still trying to find that driver. The driver of the bike who is the deceased woman's brother, was not seriously injured. He has been arrested and charged with DUI, reckless driving, failure to maintain his proper lane and first-degree vehicular homicide.

First degree vehicular homicide or homicide by vehicle, is a felony found in the Annotated Code of Georgia section 40-6-393 (a). This provision states that a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs that causes the death of another person can be sentenced to up to 15 years of imprisonment. The minimum sentence can be longer for habitual DUI violators.

Late the same night, a 52-year-old man was struck and killed while riding a bicycle on Georgia Highway 6 in Paulding County. This cyclist was struck by a car driven by a young adult from Hiram.

It is difficult to imagine what all the injured are dealing with and it is even more difficult to imagine the sense of loss for families who have lost a loved one in these crashes. It goes without saying that we are saddened by any loss of life in the biking community. The sense of loss is worsened when we consider that avoiding drinking and driving is something that all of us can and should do. In at least one of the accidents here, if the allegations are true, this might have saved at least one of the lives lost in recent days.

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Biker Killed in I-75 Tractor-Trailer Collision

September 17, 2013, by

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for burned out bikeLast week, a rider lost his life while riding on I-75. The collision that ended his life was not between two vehicles that were in any way a match for such a situation. One rider on a bike and one driver of a tractor-trailer. My work representing bikers and their families as a Gwinnett County motorcycle injury lawyer involves many match-ups between vehicles, but there is nothing more dangerous to a biker than a tractor-trailer that isn't where it should be on the road.

In this crash, the motorcyclist was riding northbound on the highway near I-675. This crash took place in daylight around 11:30 in the morning. The tractor-trailer crossed the median and traveled into the opposite direction of traffic and into the motorcycle's lane killing the biker. The road was closed for some period of time after the crash. The accident was said to have been the result of an improper lane change by the tractor-trailer. The driver of the truck is likely going to face charges. This could include a charge, based on the improper lane change and resulting death, of second degree homicide by vehicle under Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-393.

As biker's know, trucks are some of the largest vehicles on Georgia's roads and highways. Traveling near or around them can be very treacherous for bikers. There is nothing this motorcyclist could have done to avoid a large vehicle suddenly coming into his path. The loss of his life is a huge price to pay for riding on an open highway.

We do not know the condition of the truck driver at the time of the accident. Perhaps the trucker was fatigued or otherwise compromised. Federal regulations make it very clear how long a trucker can drive in one day, required brakes and rest. We cannot assume anything in this situation, all we know is that the driver left his lane of traffic resulting in the rider's death.

Trucking in Georgia is highly regulated and is in accord with the federal law. If this driver was working for a commercial motor carrier, that company and the driver could well have liability in a wrongful death action brought by the surviving family of the rider.

Wrongful death is a type of action that can be brought after a death caused by another person. It is brought by close family members or spouses and generally is intended to compensate the family, including children for the sudden and perhaps early death of a loved one. Calculations are made that determine what the deceased person would have earned over the course of his or her lifetime and that becomes part of the damages claimed by the victim's family. Other damages and causes of action can also be a part of the action.

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More Ways to Ride Safely

August 4, 2013, by

Thumbnail image for Motorcycle4.jpgAfter a string of fatal motorcycle crashes in the Atlanta metro area, particularly those in which bikers have been struck by other vehicles as those vehicles are either making a turn or the biker makes a turn, we have set out to remind our readers about the importance of safe riding. Earlier this year, the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety launched a safe riding campaign, with the aim of reducing motorcycle crash fatalities. Over the two prior years, the highest rates of fatal crashes came from metro counties, including Fulton, DeKalb and Gwinnett and neighboring Newton County.

As a Gwinnett County motorcycle injury lawyer, this latest string of bike crashes and fatalities concerns me greatly. I represent riders and their families and support them through what can be traumatic and life-changing experiences. Although the statistics show that Georgia had slightly fewer fatalities in 2012, than in 2011, over 130 people lost their lives in bike crashes. This why both motorists and riders, have been asked to renew their commitment to sharing the road.

In Georgia, we have over 200,000 registered motorcycles -- less than two and one half percent of all registered vehicles. But sadly, in 2011 (for example) motorcycle deaths amounted to 11 percent of all fatalities on our roads and highways. This type of statistic is found in other states around the country. It is not just true in Georgia. In 2011 motorcycle deaths in the United States amounted to 14 percent, with a three percent average registration across the country. We have seen a drop in fatalities in Georgia from 2005.

But as we are all aware, any fatality on a bike is a tragedy and our fatal crash rates in urban and rural areas are too high. In general, bike riders are 30 times more likely to die in a collision than are those driving or riding in other types of motor vehicles.

We know that proper helmet use is one reason why riders are surviving crashes that would other wise be fatal. The importance of the proper helmet can never be overstated.

Education is also key in safety. About 22 percent of riders in motorcycle crashes do not have the proper license or have no license. And it is said that because bikes are fuel efficient, some riders do not get the background they need to ride safely. Right here in Georgia, our Department of Driver Services has 22 motorcycle safety training sites and certifies nearly 15 additional sites around the state.

Here is are some safety reminders: don't drive impaired or distracted; do wear protective a helmet and bright clothing with reflectors; avoid riding in bad weather; always signal a lane change and use hand signals when possible in addition to your turn signal; make sure to position your bike before a turn so that other drivers can best see you.

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And Another Left, Turns Deadly in Forsyth

July 27, 2013, by

Thumbnail image for Motorcycle rider on fall roadway.jpgThis has been a very very bad week for local riders. We have lost two motorcyclists to the same or similar danger -- a vehicle turning left and failing to yield the right of way. In this tragedy, a 19-year-old man was killed. I mentioned in my last post that riders can only protect themselves from this type of motorcycle crash by using every possible means to be seen by other vehicles. In our next post, we will share some thoughts on this, but for now, we are sending our sympathies to the families of these two victims.

I have represented many bikers who have been in this situation and have been injured or worse in my law practice as a Gwinnett County motorcycle accident lawyer. A grieving family isn't really consoled by the compensation they receive for the wrongful death of a loved one, but at least they can move on with their lives and have some protection for others left with the loss, such as children and spouses.

We have discussed in the past that it is extremely difficult for riders to protect themselves if and when another vehicle simply crosses the path of an oncoming rider -- which is what happened in this situation and the fatal crash we posted about earlier this week. Wearing a helmet that is structurally sound and other protective gear can help protect your head and your ability to see. But, nothing can protect you from a driver going at full speed and turning in your path. That is just careless and it is against Georgia law.

In the most recent crash in Forsyth County, a pick-up truck driver was driving northbound on Heardsville Road, when he made a left turn into a parking lot at the Old Heardsville Store. The truck hit a young rider who was traveling southbound on the same road on his Yamaha bike. The fatal crash occurred in the afternoon hours, so weather and visibility do not appear to be factors in this crash.

The rider is reported to have been thrown from the motorcycle and pronounced dead at the scene. He attempted to avoid the impact of the oncoming truck by taking some evasive measures, but was thrown from his bike. The truck driver was not injured in the crash and was immediately arrested and charged with misdemeanor vehicular homicide and failure to yield while turning left.

The Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-393 sets out the crimes involving homicide by vehicle. The charge of misdemeanor vehicular homicide carries a lesser penalty than more serious offenses, such as first degree homicide by vehicle.

In our post earlier this week, we shared the fatal crash of another rider that happened the same way this one did. A car was riding in the opposite direction of a woman on a scooter and made a turn directly into her path. She died after her transport to a local hospital.

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Another Biker Down and Gone ... Intersection Dangers Continue

July 25, 2013, by

Motorcycle riders in the sunset.jpgWhen I saw the headline about another Atlanta-area biker killed, I immediately thought that it could be an intersection crash. And it was. It is a consistent problem for bikers. The dangers of not being seen when turning in an intersection. This is one of the most dangerous places for riders and we have posted about this problem in the past. I have represented motorcycle injury and crash victims in my Atlanta metro law practice and I have helped them recover from intersection crashes, holding those responsible accountable.

In the fatal motorcycle intersection crash earlier this week a rider was killed while riding at night on Cobb Parkway. This biker was riding his Harley Davidson and was hit by a vehicle driven by a 21-year old driving a Mazda. The initial reports of the accident note that the Mazda made a left turn directly into the path of the motorcycle. The rider was taken to Well Star Kennestone Hospital. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. Authorities continue to investigate this crash and its cause.

Georgia law requires that drivers approaching an intersection for a turn or otherwise, must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic in intersections. In the cases I have handled that involve motorcycle injury and fatality, the failure to yield has often played a major role. Under Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-73 the "driver of a vehicle about to enter or cross a roadway from any place other than another roadway shall yield the right of way to all vehicles approaching on the roadway to be entered or crossed."

I cannot stress enough the importance of riders knowing how to handle intersection situations. The Georgia Motorcycle Operator's Manual is an excellent resource for bike riders. It has very helpful information about riding as safely as possible in certain situations. We know that riders are more vulnerable to being struck by other drivers while in intersections. Motorcycle safety statistics around the country reveal that intersections present the greatest potential for collision between bikes and other traffic. It is said that more than half of all accidents involving motorcycles and passenger vehicles are actually caused by other drivers entering a rider's right-of-way.

We have posted in the past about how to handle intersection situations as safely as possible. In an upcoming post we will review those tactics and strategies. In the meanwhile, please ride safely.

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Road Departure -- Biker's Beware

July 10, 2013, by

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for motorcycleriderleg.jpegAnother terrible outcome for a biker in a road departure crash -- this time in Cherokee County, Georgia. A young adult was killed earlier this week after his bike left the road and hit a utility pole. This tragic accident occurred Wednesday around 11:45 in the morning on Epperson Road.

I have written in the past about the dangers inherent in road departure crashes, both when driving a vehicle or riding a bike. This type of crash is generally very dangerous and many bikers have lost their lives or been seriously injured this way. Over the past two decades in my Atlanta motorcycle injury law practice, I have studied road departure dangers for bikers.

In this situation, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office was present on the scene and performing CPR at the time the emergency services responders came on the scene. The man could not be saved and passed away at the scene. He was only 21 years old. This accident is still under investigation so we don't know what caused the crash.

What we do know is that road departure crashes are a serious hazard for bikers and other vehicles. The Federal Highway Administration's Roadway Departure Safety Program provides important information for transportation practitioners, decision makers, and others to help prevent and reduce the severity of roadway departure crashes. The statistics on road departure crashes are startling. In 2011, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 15,307 fatal roadway departure crashes. These crashes caused even more fatalities totaling 16,948. Road departure crashes account for over 50 percent of the fatal crashes in America. Roadway departure crashes are frequently severe and account for the majority of highway fatalities.

These crashes are defined as a non-intersection crash occurring after a vehicle crosses an edge line or a center line, or otherwise leaves the traveled roadway. There are many causes of these crashes. Sometimes speed is a factor, but there are many other reasons these crashes happen. A driver or biker may try to avoid something in the road and loses control or perhaps that driver or biker is taking a curve with greater speed than road conditions will allow.

Our Federal Highway Administration Roadway Departure Team has just issued a strategic plan to lower the number of fatalities from road departure crashes. Their intention is to provide leadership in the highway community to reduce the risk of roadway departure fatal and serious injury crashes from occurring. The primary leadership role is with the engineering community and includes "developing, evaluating, and deploying life-saving countermeasures and promoting data-driven application of safety treatments." The goal of this work is to reduce national roadway departure fatalities by at least 500 per year "from the existing 17,000 per year to 8,500 per year by the year 2030."

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Georgia Bikers Benefit From Skills & Crash Avoidance Training

June 26, 2013, by

burned out bikeAs we noted in our last post, all bikers can benefit from general riding and crash avoidance training. Georgia riders are fortunate to live in a state in which ongoing training is available for all skill levels. In representing many bikers in my law practice as a Gwinnett County motorcycle crash lawyer, I have seen many examples of the dangers out there to bikers when drivers do not see them.

In addition, there are conditions and circumstances that riders encounter that can result in even greater harm if they are not prepared and ready to know what to do in case of an emergency situation. And there are many situations in which there is little a rider can do. An example of this occurred just recently, as a Lawrenceville man lost his life when an elderly driver apparently failed to see him and his passenger in a parking lot. She turned directly into them and killed the man and very seriously injuring his passenger.

As we are all aware, drivers are driving more distracted than ever, and it only takes a momentary lapse for a driver to fail to see a bike. This is particularly an issue at intersections when one vehicle or bike is attempting to make a left turn. It makes sense for all bikers and drivers to hone their skills in driving defensively.

There are three levels of training offered in these training courses. Since scooters have become a very popular mode of transportation these are also now permitted to participate in the beginning and experienced rider courses.

The beginning rider's course is intended to provide many essential skills for riders that do not have experience. This course spans over two days and includes both a closed course and classroom time. Riders learn several key skills including how to handle difficult and critical traffic situations, the safe operation of a bike, the skills and mental state needed to manage traffic and challenging situations. Participants learn all aspects of basic riding, straight-line, turning, shifting and stopping. In addition, the class focuses on cornering, emergency braking and swerving. Other important areas that are covered include visibility and protection.

There are also an experienced rider and advanced rider courses that involve class discussions about how riders manage difficult situations to keep safe. These have some prerequisites, but if you want to check these out please click here for the experience rider program and here for the advanced program.

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Lawrenceville Biker Killed on I-124

June 26, 2013, by

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for motorcycleriderleg.jpegSad news out of Jackson County as a 40-year-old biker was killed and two were injured while traveling on Georgia Highway 124. The crash occurred in the morning hours. The deceased biker's passenger is in the Athens Regional Medical Center in intensive care and has life-threatening injuries.

We do not know her condition at this time, but our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family. As an Atlanta motorcycle injury lawyer, I am always saddened to learn of what appears to be a purely tragic situation as two bikers enjoyed a summer ride only to be involved in a horrific crash.

The third victim, an elderly woman, also sustained injuries and was released from the hospital. Apparently, she may be charged with some offenses for this accident. The initial reports out of the Georgia State Patrol, indicate that the car driver was trying to turn left into the parking lot of a store. She turned into the motorcycle's path and is likely to be charged in the crash.

Bikers know that intersections and turns are some of the most dangerous places for accidents to occur. Drivers often seem unaware that a bike is present. This exposure to danger requires more vigilance on the part of riders to make sure that the other vehicles sees you.

The Georgia Department of Driver Services (GMSP) offers a motorcycle safety program. This is for all levels of riders ... not just beginners. The agency also promotes motorist awareness programs and share the road campaigns all intended to make Georgia's highways safer for bike riders. These programs are located at many training sites around the state. As we are all aware, training can be life-saving. Crash avoidance is key for bikers who are more vulnerable to larger vehicles that might not "see" them.

Several levels of training are provided in these courses, we will elaborate on those in our next post.

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