Motorcycles provide an exciting way to travel around Georgia, but safe riding requires motorcyclists to follow specific laws.
Although cars and motorcycles share the highway, the two methods of transportation have different guidelines. Motorcyclists follow all general traffic rules as automobiles, like stopping for red lights and obeying the speed limit. However, additional motorcycle laws in Georgia protect motorcyclists.
Before you hop on a bike, you should understand motorcycle laws in Georgia. If you’re confused about Georgia motorcycle laws, here are important laws to know, including:
- Who can ride a motorcycle in Georgia?
- What traffic laws must motorcycle riders obey?
- What should you do after a motorcycle accident?
Who can ride a motorcycle in Georgia?
You must be 17 or older to get a motorcycle license in Georgia. According to GA motorcycle laws, riders should attend a motorcycle safety education course before getting their license. If you complete a safety course, you may waive out of the knowledge and skills test required for a motorcycle license.
Alternatively, you can bypass the motorcycle safety course and test your motorcycle knowledge and skills at a DDS Customer Service Center.
The Cartersville DDS Customer Service Center is located at 1304 Joe Frank Harris Pkwy SE, Cartersville, GA 30121.
Motorcyclists should wear protective clothing, including a helmet, eye protection, gloves, long pants, and a jacket. Motorcycle laws in Georgia require motorcycles manufactured after 1972 to have turn signals. If riding an older bike, motorcyclists should learn traffic hand signals.
Before you ride a motorcycle in Georgia, you’ll want to read the Georgia Motorcycle Operators Manual. It contains further detail on motorcycle laws in GA.
What traffic laws must motorcycle riders obey?
Motorcycles must follow all traffic laws that cars and trucks follow on Georgia highways. However, a few GA motorcycle laws apply only to motorcycles:
- No splitting lanes. Because motorcycles are smaller than cars, motorcyclists can zip through traffic and split lanes. This term means motorcyclists ride the white line that divides lanes of traffic. However, Georgia does not allow lane splitting.
- Limit two bikes to a lane. Since motorcycles are small enough to travel side by side in one lane, motorcyclists can share lanes. Sometimes, this practice increases motorcycle safety, such as when two side-by-side taillights provide greater visibility at night. Georgia motorcycle laws allow two motorcycles to ride beside each other in one lane.
- Helmets are mandatory. It may feel nice to let your hair flow in the wind, but this experience isn’t safe. You must wear a helmet on Georgia roadways.
- Have a windshield or wear eyewear. Your eyesight is crucial for your safety and the safety of other drivers around you. So, Georgia mandates that you must either wear protective eyewear or have a windshield on your bike.
What should you do after a motorcycle accident?
Even the safest motorcycle rider can’t always avoid an accident. If you suffer a motorcycle injury in Georgia, you should contact an attorney with knowledge of motorcycle laws in GA.
Georgia follows a comparative negligence law that allows a partially at-fault plaintiff to recover damages. The plaintiff must be 50% or less at-fault to recover damages. The plaintiff’s damages reduce if the plaintiff shares fault.
So, even if you were partially at fault for your motorcycle accident, you may still be able to recover damages. A personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and determine your likelihood of recovering damages through settlement or trial.
An attorney helps you navigate the court system to get the damages reward that you deserve. You may want to interview several personal injury attorneys to see who provides the best representation for your case. When you talk to potential personal injury attorneys, ask the following questions:
- What do you charge? You should never pay to consult a personal injury attorney. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee, meaning that you don’t pay anything upfront. The attorney collects a percentage of your damages award if you win your case but receives nothing if you lose.
- Do you have courtroom experience? Most personal injury cases resolve in a settlement. However, an attorney must prepare for the possibility that your case will go to trial. You want an attorney who is comfortable at the negotiation table and in the courtroom.
- Do you have experience with this type of case? Some personal injury lawyers specialize in certain kinds of cases. For instance, one attorney may represent motorcycle injury cases while another represents workplace injury accidents. Make sure your attorney has some experience with your case.
Collect Damages for Your Motorcycle Injury
Pritchard Injury Firm specializes in representing personal injury plaintiffs, including victims of motorcycle accidents.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, give us a call at 470-275-1510 or contact us here.