As summer heats up, more motorcycles will be hitting the road. The Dalton Police Department urges all drivers to use extra caution and keep an eye out for motorcycle riders. Extra attentiveness can make this summer riding season safer for everyone.
Statistics from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety show that crashes involving motorcycles resulted in 177 deaths on Georgia's roads in 2008. Six of those fatalities came in the Dalton/Whitfield County area. Unfortunately, these statistics have been on a steady rise since 2002 as more motorcycles are hitting Georgia roadways.
Obviously, motorcycle riders face unique challenges and
hazards which drivers of other vehicles do not. Motorcycles
provide little or no protection in a motor vehicle crash.
Drivers should be aware that motorcycles are more likely to be on the road in warmer weather to help prevent unnecessary accidents. The bumper sticker slogan "Look Twice, Save A Life, Motorcycles Are Everywhere" rings true. To avoid hitting a motorcyclist, drivers should keep up a constant scan of the surrounding road. By far, the most common thing a driver says after being involved in a crash with a motorcycle is that they just didn't see it.
Safety Foundation offers these tips for motorists to stay safe and avoid unexpected tragedy.
Car and truck drivers:
- Be vigilant and watch for motorcycles. They can easily be hidden in heavy traffic.
- Be aware of hazards which motorcyclists may face and try to anticipate how they will react.
- When following a motorcyclist, remain at least two seconds behind them.
- Watch out when turning left. Most crashes between motorcycles and other vehicles involve turning left at an intersection.
- Remain two to four seconds behind a vehicle in front of you.
- Always check your rear view mirror before slowing down.
- Always wear a helmet and protective clothing. Helmet use is required by Georgia law.
- Obey all traffic laws, signs, and signals.
The Dalton Police Department wishes you safe travels!