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Georgia Motorcycle Riding Laws

In Georgia, motorcycle riders are required to abide by the same traffic laws as car or truck drivers. However, apart from these laws and regulations, motorcyclists must also adhere to additional equipment, passenger, and safety gear rules.

There is also a minimum amount of liability insurance set by the state that motorcyclists must hold to cover bodily injury or property damage. Abiding by these rules and regulations is crucial for everyone’s safety.

Furthermore, by abiding by these rules, you also ensure that in the event of an accident, you will not have these rules used against you to reduce your damage awards. Motorcycle injury attorneys highlight that Georgia follows a modified comparative system, which prevents an injured party from recovering damages in an accident if their assigned degree of fault goes beyond 49%.

Not abiding by motorcycle laws and getting into an accident can significantly raise your percentage of fault, potentially barring you from recovering any compensation — regardless of the severity of your injuries and property damage. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, contact a personal injury lawyer right away to prepare your case. Here is what you should know about Georgia’s motorcycle riding laws:

Motorcycle License

No one is allowed to ride a motorcycle in Georgia without possessing a valid Class M motorcycle license or a Class MP instruction permit. To obtain these licenses, you must pass an on-cycle skill test, eye test, and knowledge test. It’s worth noting that Class MP permits only allow you to practice riding under certain restrictions.

You can apply for a Class M license once you are at least 16 years old and must register your vehicle according to Georgia Code 40-2-2, but you are not obligated to place a title on your vehicle.

Motorcycle Helmet Law

Motorcyclists are significantly unprotected in the event of an accident compared to other types of drivers. Because of this, Georgia has mandated the wearing of appropriate protective headgear, as head injuries can be lethal and are common in motorcycle accidents.

Regardless of age and experience, all motorcyclists in Georgia must wear a helmet. These helmets must be DOT-approved, which means they have undergone energy absorption, penetration, and retention tests to ensure the minimum efficiency and protective features necessary for safety.

Some helmets are counterfeit or display fake DOT-approved stickers. To ensure that your helmet is DOT-compliant and conforms with helmet laws, you can check the label on the back to see who is the helmet manufacturer, the model designation, and if the phrase “DOT, FMVSS No. 2018, Certified” is displayed.

Eye Protection

Motorcycles need to have one rear-view mirror installed. If a motorcycle does not have a windshield, riders are required to wear appropriate eye protection equipment.

Headlight Usage

When operating on public roads, motorcyclists must always keep their headlights on to ensure visibility.

Lane Splitting Laws

It is illegal to split lanes in Georgia. If you are riding your motorcycle between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic, you are lane-splitting. You must avoid lane splitting to ensure your safety and that of the other traffic participants.

Motorcycle Equipement

Apart from the helmet, mirrors, and eye protection laws, motorcyclists must also have horns, turn signals, and a muffler in good working condition. Wearing appropriate footwear is also essential. Also, seat rests shouldn’t create sharp points at the top.

Handlebar Height

Motorcycle handlebars in Georgia must not be more than 215 inches higher than the seat of the rider or pass their shoulder height when seated.

Passenger Requirements

If you want to carry a passenger on your motorcycle, Georgia law requires motorcycles to have appropriate footrests for them. A package or passenger should not interfere with the operation of the vehicle or obstruct the rider’s view.

Clinging Law

Motorcycle riders are prohibited from attaching themselves or their vehicle to other vehicles while driving.

Mandatory Minimum Insurance Coverage

In Georgia, motorcyclists are required to carry a minimum of $50,000 liability insurance for bodily injury or death. Riders must also have a minimum of $25,000 in insurance coverage for property damage.

Breaking motorcycle laws in Georgia can result in fines, criminal prosecution, and other penalties reflecting the severity of the offense. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Georgia, contact a motorcycle attorney to help you navigate the legal process, understand your options, and have a fairer chance at receiving compensation for your damages and other losses.

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Written by Marcus Richards

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