Stephen Hasner | Motorcycle Accidents | November 26, 2020
If you ask any motorcyclist, the answer to this question is “yes.” Riders enjoy being on the road on their motorcycle. Their reasons for purchasing a motorcycle might vary, but the love of riding a motorcycle on a beautiful day in Georgia is generally one of the reasons they purchased their motorcycle.
There are also advantages to riding a motorcycle. The cost of some motorcycles is much lower than the cost of the average passenger vehicle. Also, a motorcycle’s fuel efficiency can save a rider a lot of money on transportation expenses each year.
However, riding a motorcycle does have costs. There are several things to consider before purchasing a motorcycle.
Upkeep, Maintenance, & Motorcycle Licenses
In addition to the purchase price of a motorcycle, there are other costs of owning a motorcycle. Motorcycles require upkeep and maintenance, just like a passenger vehicle. Riders must replace tires and perform general maintenance to keep their motorcycles in good working order.
Also, Georgia motorcyclists must obtain a motorcycle license to operate a motorcycle. Riders must take and pass a Motorcycle Safety Program Course to obtain a 90-day test waiver for their motorcycle license. If they do not want to take the course, they can take a written, vision, and on-cycle skills test through the Georgia Department of Driver Services.
Motorcycle Insurance in Georgia
Motorcyclists are required to purchase liability insurance in Georgia. The minimum liability insurance riders must carry is $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 bodily insurance coverage per accident. Riders must also carry $25,000 in property damage liability insurance.
Liability insurance compensates victims of accidents that the motorcyclist causes. It does not compensate the rider for damages sustained in an accident.
If the motorcycle is used as collateral for a loan, the lender generally requires that the rider carry collision and comprehensive insurance. The insurance covers damages to the motorcycle if the rider causes an accident or the motorcycle is damaged by fire, theft, or other casualties.
Because motorcyclists can sustain severe injuries in a motorcycle accident, it is also wise to purchase underinsured motorist coverage. If another driver causes an injury, the driver’s insurance might not cover the rider’s damages. Having underinsured motorist coverage helps protect the rider in those cases by providing additional compensation for a motorcycle accident claim.
Operating a motorcycle might cost less than operating a passenger vehicle, but it can cost more to insure a motorcycle. Because motorcyclists are at a high risk of injury in traffic accidents, most insurance companies charge more for motorcycle insurance policies.
Motorcycle Safety Gear
All motorcyclists and passengers in Georgia are required to wear a motorcycle helmet. The motorcycle helmets must comply with specific standards. Also, riders must wear protective eye gear if the motorcycle does not have a windshield.
Additionally, many motorcyclists invest in protective riding gear to reduce injury risk in a motorcycle accident. Leather jackets and pants can help reduce the risk of lacerations and abrasions (road rash). Specialized outfits have padding that can reduce the risk of broken bones and other injuries in a motorcycle crash.
The cost of motorcycle safety gear can be expensive. However, the protection from traumatic injuries outweighs the cost for many riders.
Risks of Injury While Riding a Motorcycle
The inherent risk of riding a motorcycle is a factor that individuals should consider before purchasing a motorcycle. Thousands of riders are killed or injured each year in motorcycle accidents. Riders are 28 percent more likely to die in a traffic accident per miles driven compared to occupants in a passenger vehicle.
One of the reasons that the risk of injury is higher for motorcyclists is because of the lack of protection in a crash. A passenger vehicle has a metal frame, seat belts, and airbags to protect occupants during a collision. Riders do not have any protection during a crash.
The rider can be pinned beneath another vehicle, crushed between objects, or thrown through the air. The risk of catastrophic injuries and life-threatening conditions is high in a motorcycle accident.
Common motorcycle injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Road rash (abrasions and lacerations)
- Head and brain injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
The cost of a motorcycle accident can be very high. The medical bills and lost income can total hundreds of thousands of dollars. In cases involving permanent disabilities, the cost over a person’s lifetime could total millions of dollars.
Unfortunately, riders are often blamed for motorcycle accidents that they did not cause. Insurance companies undervalue valid claims or deny motorcycle accident claims. A motorcycle accident lawyer can evaluate your case and advise you of your legal rights and options to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.