The upcoming national enforcement for motorcycle safety focuses on drunk riding prevention. Riders know that drinking and driving are not a good mix. I have learned a great deal about this issue in my capacity as an Atlanta, Georgia MADD Board of Directors member and a proud supporter of the organization for more than five years. In addition, as part of my work as a Gwinnett County motorcycle accident lawyer, I have represented motorcycle riding clients who have been injured by the negligence or impaired driving of other drivers on the road. But as a passionate and proud community of riders, the motorcycle community also should pride itself on being examples of great driving. And great driving requires a lot of skill and that in turn requires a sober driver.
To emphasize this, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes on its website that, ‘[a]lcohol affects those skills essential to riding a motorcycle – balance and coordination.” This in turn is said to play a major role in bike crashes and fatalities because “[s]tatistics show that the percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders in fatal crashes is greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers on our roads. This is why NHTSA urges all motorcycle riders to always ride smart and sober.
Most riders are very aware of the need to be sober and clear while driving. Putting ourselves, our passengers or our beloved bikes at risk when riding is not what any driver wants to do. The problem is that alcohol can impair our own assessment as to whether we are in a condition to drive.
To remind riders of the importance of taking other forms of transport home under these circumstances, there are a number of things to consider. Check out the riding safety campaign and the many cool posters for the campaign that include great reminders like: “Freedom to Leave It Parked Til Morning” and “We All Do Things We Regret While Drunk.”
The Freedom to Leave It Parked poster also warns “Don’t Wreck Your Motorcycle and Your Life. Ride Smart. Ride Sober.” And the We All Do Things poster portrays an image of a driver with a helmet half full of beer, that says “There’s no way to hide it. If you drive impaired, you will get busted.”
Only last summer, one tragedy among many others that we read and hear about occurred when a drunk driver hit and killed an Atlanta motorcycle rider who was struck by a car that turned into the rider’s path. This is a common cause of motorcycle accidents in which cars collide with bikes. Cars sometimes travel unexpectedly into the path of riders, especially in intersections.
But as a community, riders want other riders to ride safe and sound. We all should work to make others aware of the dangers of riding under the influence. We know how much riders love their bikes — making riding more safe is also a goal of the riding community.
The Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle, PC, offers free consultations regarding serious accident and injury matters. With offices throughout the Atlanta metro region, we represent clients who have been injured in motorcycle accidents in all surrounding cities and counties, including Duluth, Fulton County, Grayson, Gwinnett County and more. Please contact Charles Scholle for a free confidential consultation at our main Gwinnett County law office, or at our offices in Decatur, the Perimeter and Buckhead.