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:
  1.  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.
  2. Proper eye protection.  This can be a shield on your helmet or tight fitting goggles.
  3. Sturdy jackets and thick pants.  Leather is recommended.
  4. Gloves.
  5. 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.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, please contact the Kerr Law Firm  at 843-785-3330.  You may also email us at info@kerrlf.com.