The state of Georgia had 112 motorcycle accident deaths during the first nine months of 2009. That figure had dropped to 98 fatalities during the first nine months of 2010. A small drop like this may not mean much, especially since the sharpest declines were noted during the first few months of the year, when Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyers noted fewer motorcycles on the streets.
The Governors’ Highway Safety Association has released projected estimates for motorcycle accident fatalities last year, and predicts that there will be 4,376 motorcycle accident fatalities in 2010. That is a 2.4% decline from last year, and the agency is warning that motorcycle crash fatalities over the next couple of years could actually increase unless both the federal and state administrations begin taking stronger steps to prevent such accidents. In Georgia, many motorcycle accidents occur on I-75/I-85 going through downtown Atlanta due to the high rates of speed coupled with the numerous lane shifts and merges that occur when Interstate I-75 and Interstate I-85 merge as they go through the Atlanta city limits. While these road conditions may not be the proximate cause of the numerous motorcycle wrecks which occur on our interstate, the road conditions certainly do play a part.
As with every other car accident case, there are essentially four elements that a plaintiff in this situation must prove in order to recover for the negligence of another driver. They are:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to use reasonable care (and every driver owes this duty to all other people);
- The defendant failed to do so and breached that duty;
- That breach caused the accident; and
- The plaintiff suffered damages in the form of personal injuries due to the negligence of the at-fault driver.
While a lawsuit is certainly available to help the injured victims of motorcycle accident recover for their injuries, there is more that could be done to save lives in motorcycle accidents every year. For instance, enforcing stronger helmet laws for motorcyclists would help. The Governors’ Highway Safety Association report is also drawing attention to an unwelcome trend-helmet use of the country is actually down by 15%. In Georgia, we could also invest in awareness among motorists about avoiding collisions with motorcycles.