Situated close to the Savannah River in Augusta-Richmond County, Augusta is a mid-sized Georgia town with a population of 197,872. Although the Augusta population is small when compared to Atlanta’s metropolitan area, Augusta still has its fair share of traffic-related accidents and fatalities. Motorcycle accidents in particular are a concern in Augusta. Warm weather combined open roads and freeways afford motorcyclists an ideal place to ride. Yet, driver negligence, traffic congestion, and other factors have contributed to the growing problem of accidents in Augusta.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to understand that you may be entitled to financial compensation if the collision is the fault of another party or entity. An experienced Augusta motorcycle accident attorney can assist you and help you understand your legal rights and what you may be entitled to.
Augusta Motorcycle Accidents
Unfortunately, when motorcycle accidents occur, the damages are severe. Motorcyclists are considered lucky to come out of a collision with minimal injuries, and most often, this rarely happens. Instead, bikers typically experience serious, life-threatening injuries along with extensive property damages. In many instances, such as the following stories, motorcyclists never make it out an accident:
In 2010, a local Augusta man was killed in a severe motorcycle accident when a car driver collided with him. Per police reports, 30-year-old Daniel Cohen was traveling along Washington Road when a car driver made an illegal U-turn and smashed directly into Cohen. The impact was so severe that Cohen was thrown from his Suzuki motorcycle. He died shortly after. The driver, Dachavous Murphy, was charged with vehicular homicide.
In 1980, the son of former member of the State Senate was killed in a motorcycle accident after colliding with a car close to one of Augusta’s intersections. The victim, son of Bill English, was only 15-years-old when the crash occurred. He was taken to Augusta Medical Center shortly after, but died a short time later.
Another motorcycle collision that occurred on the Augusta line in Columbia County took the life of an Augusta firefighter. According to police reports, Sergeant George Curtis was riding his motorcycle close to Ray Owens Road when he hit by a local mail carrier. The impact was so severe that Curtis was pronounced dead.
In 2011, although there were no fatalities, a victim of a serious motorcycle accident was left with life-threatening injuries. 35-year-old Andre Harris was traveling along Augusta’s Wheeless Road when he was hit by a Mercury Villager. The driver of the Mercury attempted to turn in front of Harris, but instead smashed directly into him. Harris was taken to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital with extensive head injuries. The driver of the Mercury was charged with driving on a suspended license and failure to yield.
The previous accidents, unfortunately, are only a small fraction of the collisions that occur in Augusta on a regular basis.
Augusta Motorcycle Accident Laws
Per Georgia Code O.C.G.A. 40-6-315, all motorcyclists must wear a helmet at all times when operating a motorcycle and must have a protective windshield in place.
Under Georgia Code O.C.G.A. 40-6-312, motorcyclists have the legal right to full usages of road lanes. In addition, motor vehicles are prohibited from denying or driving in a manner that hinders or prevents motorcyclists from using a full lane.
Georgia Code O.C.G.A. 40-6-312 also states that motorcyclists cannot operate their vehicles in between lanes and no more than two motorcyclists abreast can occupy a single lane.
Headlights and taillights must be illuminated at all times.
Georgia Code O.C.G.A. 40-6-312 prohibits lane splitting, overpassing, and passing in the same lane.
No alcohol can be consumed and no open containers are allowed while operating a motorcycle, under Georgia Code OCGA §40-6-391.
Although a safety riding certificate is not mandatory in the state of Georgia, it is highly recommended.
Getting Legal Help in Augusta
Keep in mind that Georgia laws regarding motorcycle accidents and personal injury are typically a complicated process. However, a leading motorcycle accident attorney understands this and will fight to ensure that your legal rights are met. If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident because of the neglect of another driver or entity, fill out our contact form today and a dedicated motorcycle accident attorney will be happy to provide you with a free consultation.