What Are Georgia’s Motorcycle Laws?

While most of us can surmise the majority of Georgia’s laws for civilian drivers, owners of motorcycles are left a little more in the dark. Georgia’s Motorcycle Laws vary slightly from state to state, so asking questions and raising concerns about your motorcycle riding makes sense.

Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are much more dangerous than cars, trucks, and vans. In Georgia, motorcycle accidents have increased year by year. Motorcycle accident victims are more likely to suffer extreme injuries or die due to their crashes. The biker is exposed to the road and other motorists, with only their protective gear and wits to protect them from serious personal injuries, and sometimes those things are simply not enough. As a result, motorcycle insurance rates are considerably higher than similar car insurance policies. And likewise, most of the laws in place are there to keep motorcyclists safe.

Today we’re going to go over some of the basics.

What is the Minimum Requirement for Motorcycle Insurance in Georgia?

It’s against the law in Georgia to drive a car or ride a motorcycle without proper motor vehicle insurance. This insurance is in place to protect you and your interests in case of an accident so that you may recover financially if you’re wounded and so that you’re not ruined financially in case you have to pay for the medical expenses of an accident victim you’ve injured.

A Georgia motorcyclist must have $50,000 bodily injury liability for all involved in an accident, $25,000 property damage, and $25,000 for bodily injury liability for an accident victim.

In addition to those mandatory insurance protection levels, motorcyclists may consider additional coverage options such as collision coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, and comprehensive coverage (for instances where your motorcycle might be stolen, vandalized, or suffer damage in an Act of God).

Is it Legal to Share Lanes with Other Vehicles or to ‘Lane Split?’

First, it’s essential to understand that the law does not view the different types of lane sharing equally. Lane sharing, lane-splitting, and lane filtering are three similar but nevertheless very different maneuvers. One of these examples may be tolerated or even encouraged, whereas the others could result in a ticket and a fine.

Lane-splitting is the act of driving down the dividing line between two lanes. Motorcyclists are fond of using lane-splitting to cut through traffic. Georgia does not allow lane-splitting.

Lane filtering is similar to lane-splitting. In fact, most states don’t see the difference between it and lane-splitting. The difference is that lane filtering is used only at red lights and stop signs where all other vehicles on your side of the road have come to an idling stop. A motorcyclist may attempt to filter through the stopped traffic to get ahead. While some states tolerate lane-splitting or lane filtering, Georgia does not.

Lane sharing, meanwhile, describes the act of multiple motorcycles sharing the same lane on the side of the road. This is accomplished because of the relatively small size of motorcycles on roads meant for much wider loads. Georgia does allow lane sharing with up to two motorcycles riding side by side in the same lane.

What is the Law on Motorcycle Helmets?

Helmets are mandatory for motorcyclists in Georgia, regardless of age or whether they are passengers or operators. The helmets worn must meet safety standards set by the Department of Transportation.

The penalties for not wearing a helmet on a motorcycle could range from community service, a year of jail time, and a fine of up to $1,000.

Motorcyclists with an enclosed cab do not need to wear a helmet.

In addition to helmets, motorcyclists must wear proper footwear, sit with one leg on either side of the vehicle, and be able to grip the handlebars with both hands.

What Do the Laws Say About Motorcycle Passengers?

Motorcycle passengers must also wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle.

Motorcycles that were only designed for one rider are not allowed to transport additional passengers. There should also be footrests for the passenger.

Passengers must be seated in a way that does not interfere with the vehicle’s operation or obstruct its operator’s vision.

What Are the Age Restrictions for Operating Motorcycles in GA?

In order to obtain a motorcycle license, a rider must be at least age 16 and pass the Georgia motorcycle license test.

The motorcycle operator must also pass an eyesight test.

Do You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

If you’re in a motorcycle accident, you must first seek medical attention, even if you do not think you’ve been badly injured. After seeking medical aid and filing an accident report, speak with a legal team experienced in handling motorcycle crashes.

The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the sooner they can build a strong case. As your legal representative, your motorcycle accident attorneys will seek to recover the maximum compensation for your case. This could result in a financial recovery of ‘special’ damages like medical bills and lost wages or ‘general’ damages like emotional distress and lost quality of life.

Contact Our Law Firm to Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Our personal injury lawyers have years of experience serving clients in Columbus, GA. We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid if you get paid. If we fail to recover a settlement for your case, you owe us nothing in legal fees.

Call our law office to schedule your free initial consultation today. (800) 777-7777.