Last week, two Atlanta area motorcycle crashes remind us of the importance of safety when riding a motor bike. In my experience as a Gwinnett County motorcycle accident lawyer, I have counseled and represented bike enthusiasts who have been injured while riding, as well as the families of those who have been seriously injured or tragically died while riding their bikes.
I am always saddened to learn of motorcycle crashes, because I know how much bike riders enjoy their experience. I also know that by virtue of the exposure one has while on a bike with other larger vehicles on the road, safety is key.
In the first incident last week, a motorcyclist slammed into a MARTA bus that was stopped in Buckhead in the 3800 block of Roswell Road. The motorcycle driver ended up pinned under the bus.
According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Atlanta police intended to charge him with two Georgia misdemeanors, one following too closely Georgia Motor Vehicles and Traffic Code section 40-6-49 and the other driving without a license in violation of Georgia Motor Vehicles and Traffic Code section 40-5-20.
Given that the motorcyclist ended up under the bus in this crash, he is truly fortunate to be alive. It is difficult to think about what might have happened if the bus had moved at all once he was trapped under it. The bus passengers were not harmed in the accident.
Driving defensively while on a motorcycle is just as important as when driving a car or any other motor vehicle. That includes riding with sufficient distance in front of you so that you can stop safely when there is a road hazard or vehicle stopped in front of you. Many drivers do not realize that in addition to being unsafe, driving too closely is a form of aggressive driving that can be cited by Georgia authorities as occurred in the MARTA bus incident last week.
In another bike crash last week, a motorcyclist was tragically killed on I-75 in Clayton County while riding southbound near Jonesboro Road. In this incident, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution stated that (similarly with the MARTA bus accident the prior day), the Georgia Department of Transportation reported that cyclist ended up pinned under another vehicle. We do not know at this point, whether the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet at the time to the fatal crash.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) maintains accident statistics on motorcycle and other vehicle crashes. According to the NHTSA in 2008, 5,290 motorcyclists were killed and 96,000 motorcyclists were injured during that year. In 2009 there was a six percent drop in the number of motorcyclist fatalities which was noted at 4,462 motorcyclists. In addition, the NHTSA published an estimate in 2008 that helmets saved 1,829 motorcyclists’ lives and also stated that “823 more could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.”
Charles Scholle is a Gwinnett County motorcycle injury and accident lawyer, available for a free consultation to evaluate your motorcycle accident matter. Please contact our law firm at any time, we are laser focused on helping clients recover from catastrophic injuries due to motorcycle, car and truck accidents. We have offices in several locations around the Atlanta area, including Buckhead, Decatur and the Perimeter.