Single-Vehicle Motorcycle Accidents in Georgia: Loss of Control Risks and Prevention


With its promise of freedom, efficiency and speed, it’s no wonder motorcycling has such strong appeal for many adventure seekers in Georgia. However, the same features that make riding so exciting also come with serious safety risks. Unlike enclosed vehicles, motorcycles leave riders exposed, exponentially heightening threats when accidents occur. For this reason, single-vehicle motorcycle crashes warrant special attention, as loss of control often has grave consequences.

Prevalence of Devastating Single-Bike Crashes

Unfortunately, accidents involving only the motorcycle make up close to 60% of Georgia’s motorcycle crashes annually. Without another vehicle to collide with, these wrecks typically occur when riders lose control of their bikes, causing devastating impacts with roadways. Compared to being protected by airbags and metal frames in cars, unenclosed motorcycles leave riders vulnerable to traumatic brain injuries, spinal damage, amputations, and severe road rash – or even death. Understanding common causes of loss of vehicle control can save lives.

Why Riders Lose Control

There are predominant risk factors that contribute to riders losing control of their motorcycles in Georgia, including:

Excess Speed – Unsafe speed remains the leading contributor to loss of control motorcycle wrecks. When traveling too fast, reaction times drop while risks rise. Navigating curves, changing conditions and hazards becomes exponentially harder. Nearly 40% of Georgia’s fatal motorcycle accidents involve speeding.

Impaired Riding – Intoxicated riding plays a role in about one-third of motorcyclist fatalities in the state. Alcohol and drugs dramatically slow reaction times, reduce coordination, and impair judgment – critical abilities for handling motorcycles. Impaired riders can easily lose control.

Over Braking – Applying too much braking force too quickly, especially while turning, can cause the motorcycle wheels to slide out from under riders. Over-braking is common among new, inexperienced riders, often leading to loss of stability and control.

Hazards – Uneven pavement, gravel, debris, water, animals and other roadway hazards can all cause motorcyclists to lose control if they are unable to properly see and react to these dangers. Lack of hazard awareness and avoidance abilities heightens risks.

Cornering Errors – Entering turns too quickly or leaning at overly sharp angles during cornering routinely causes motorcycles to slide out or eject riders. Inattention, distraction and misjudging speeds can lead many riders to lose control on curves.

Mechanical Issues – Motorcycle component failures like blown tires, stuck throttles, drive train problems and more can all initiate loss of control emergencies, especially for riders who fail to properly inspect and maintain their bikes.

Minimizing Crashes Through Prevention

While reasons may vary, loss of control motorcycle crashes often yield devastating results. But Georgia riders can proactively minimize risks by:

  • Investing in formal motorcycle safety training from qualified instructors to develop skills in hazard detection, appropriate speed selection, cornering techniques, braking methods, and accident avoidance tactics essential for responsible riding.
  • Always wearing high-quality protective gear like DOT-certified helmets, riding jackets with armor, durable pants, over-the-ankle boots, and abrasion-resistant gloves to maximize protection in the event of accidents since human skin provides little defense in motorcycle crashes.
  • Maintaining safe speeds according to posted limits as well as adjusting speeds down appropriately with consideration for road conditions, traffic, visibility and rider skills, always leaving ample space between motorcycles and surrounding vehicles.
  • Staying fully alert with no distractions, no impairment from alcohol or drugs that slow reaction times and impair judgment which are critical to safely operating motorcycles, and taking breaks when fatigued since inattention heightens loss of control risks.
  • Braking early, progressively and smoothly, distributing braking power appropriately between front and rear brakes for maximum efficiency and stability, not grabbing brakes abruptly. Also, avoiding braking while leaning over in turns, which can cause dangerous slides and loss of traction.
  • Scanning aggressively ahead, behind and to sides, paying close attention to surrounding traffic as well as road conditions, searching for any hazards or risks, and formulating response strategies well in advance since hazards frequently appear quickly to motorcyclists with less time to react.
  • Regularly inspecting and meticulously maintaining motorcycles, thoroughly checking critical components like tires, controls, lights, chains/belts, brake pads, leaks, etc. before each ride to identify any mechanical issues or excessive wear to prevent failures or malfunctions which could initiate loss of vehicle control.

Always riding within personal skill limits, gaining experience through training and practice over time, not overestimating abilities. Challenging oneself to continually develop skills and safety margins but avoiding riding in situations clearly beyond current capabilities. Certainly, motorcycling comes with risks. But informed riders who exercise caution, develop skills, and gear up properly are far less likely to suffer tragedy in a serious single-vehicle loss of control accident. Prioritizing protective measures is a small price to pay considering the horrific potential consequences. For riders seeking thrills rather than harm, prevention is key.

If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, speak to a personal injury lawyer from Monge & Associates. We have offices in 32 locations and 19 states, including Georgia, Colorado, and Missouri. Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597 to learn more.

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