Deaths from motorcycle accidents are on the rise in the United States. In the past 10 years, motorcycle crash deaths have risen from 5% to 15% of all traffic fatalities. In order to reverse this trend, it is important to remember that motorcycles have the same rights and privileges as automobiles.
If you ride a motorcycle, here are some safety tips from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
- Take a quality, hands-on training course in a controlled, off-street environment.
- Wear proper gear. It can be the difference between life and death in an accident. Proper gear includes:
- Helmets with Department of Transportation compliance. Motorcycle helmet use has increased from 48% in 2005 to 67% in 2009. Helmets also saved 1,829 lives in 2009.
- Proper eye protection. This can be a shield on your helmet or tight fitting goggles.
- Sturdy jackets and thick pants. Leather is recommended.
- Over-the-ankle boots.
- Make sure you wear high-visibility gear. If cars can’t see you, they are more likely to hit you. Put a bright emblem on the back of your jacket. Wear reflective strips, especially at night.
In South Carolina, you must obtain Class M driver’s license in order to be able to operate a motorcycle. You must be 18 years old and pass a vision and a road skills test. You will need to bring your birth certificate, social security card, proof of residency, and insurance information to the DMV.
In Georgia, you also must obtain a Class M driver’s license to operate a motorcycle. You must be 17 years old and must pass a vision test, a special road signs test, a special road rules test, and an actual driving test. You will need your birth certificate, social security number, proof of residency, and insurance information in order to apply for a license at the DDS.
In both South Carolina and Georgia you must obtain liability insurance in order to own and operate a motorcycle with limits of at least $25,000 bodily injury liability for one person, $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident, and $25,000 property damage liability. As with auto insurance, is it highly recommended to get extra insurance if you can afford it. This includes comprehensive, collision, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.