On the road, situations change constantly. As a responsible rider, you know how important it is to be in full control of the motorcycle. A responsible rider knows that good road management starts with knowledge and practice of SEE.
No matter how careful you are, there will be times when you find yourself in a difficult spot. Your chances of avoiding a crash and possible injury will depend on your ability to react quickly and properly. Two critical crash avoidance skills you will need to learn and practice are stopping quickly and swerving.
Stopping a motorcycle quickly and safely is a skill that requires a lot of practice.
This is accomplished by applying controlled pressure to both the front and rear brakes at the same time without locking either wheel.
To do this:
Stopping Quickly in a Curve
If you must stop quickly while turning or riding in a curve, the best technique is to straighten the motorcycle, square the handlebars and then stop. There may be conditions that do not allow straightening first, such as running off the road in a left-hand curve or dealing with oncoming traffic in a right-hand curve. In such situations, apply the brakes smoothly and gradually. As you slow, you can reduce your lean angle and apply more brake pressure until the motorcycle is straight and maximum brake pressure is possible. You should “straighten” the handlebars in the last few feet of stopping; the motorcycle should then be straight up.
Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS)
Some motorcycles use this technology to prevent wheel lock-up. If your motorcycle is equipped with anti-lock brakes apply maximum pressure on both the front and rear brakes as quickly and firmly as you can. You may feel a pulsation in the brakes; continue to hold brake pressure until you have completely stopped. Most ABS systems are designed to reduce or prevent wheel lock-up only while riding in a straight line; ABS may not prevent wheel lock-up while leaned over in a curve or turn.
Sometimes a skid cannot be avoided. Here’s what to do:
Swerving to avoid a crash may be appropriate if stopping isn’t a solution. A swerve is any sudden change in direction. Be sure you have enough time and space to swerve. It can be two quick turns, or a rapid shift to the side. To swerve:
If braking is required, separate it from swerving. Brake before or after – never while swerving
Many crash-involved riders enter turns too fast and are unable to complete the curve. The basic turning procedure – slow, look, press, roll – applies to all curves. Every curve is different. Be alert to whether a curve remains constant, gradually widens, gets tighter or involves multiple turns. Ride within your skill level and posted speed limits.
You should move to the center of the lane before entering a curve and stay there until you exit. This permits you to spot approaching traffic as soon as possible. You can also adjust for traffic “crowding” the center line, or debris blocking part of your lane.
Your best path may not always follow the curve of the road. Change lane position depending on traffic, road conditions and curve of the road.
High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) and High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes
Motorcycles are permitted to use HOV lanes regardless of the number of persons riding on the motorcycle. Motorcycles may also use the HOT lanes at no cost by obtaining a toll-exempt PeachPass account. Contact the State Road and Tollway Authority at 1-855-PCH-PASS (724-7277). However, motorcycles must pay regular tolls on designated toll roads.
A PeachPass electronic toll transponder may be obtained to more easily pay for transit on designated toll roads; a PeachPass is required when using HOT lanes. To obtain more information about a Georgia PeachPass for all types of vehicles including motorcycles, go to: http://www.peachpass.com.
Sharing the Road with Commercial Motor Vehicles
Commercial motor vehicles are vital to the economy of Georgia and the United States. Most of the products used in everyday life were delivered to stores by commercial motor vehicles. Drivers of commercial motor vehicles are trained, specially licensed driving professionals. Sharing the road with commercial motor vehicles is a necessary part of travel. Heavy trucks typically weigh 80,000 pounds or more, and riders should use caution when near them.
Typically, the larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spots. A commercial motor vehicle’s blind spots are dangerous because truck drivers can’t see vehicles in these areas.
It is impossible to completely avoid a truck’s blind spots. However, car drivers and motorcyclists should not remain in the “No Zone” any longer than needed to safely pass a heavy truck.
The easiest way to avoid lingering in the “No Zone” is to look for the truck driver’s reflection in the side mirror. If you cannot see the driver’s reflection, you are in the truck driver’s blind spot.
As depicted in the illustration below, these areas around the truck include: directly in front, directly behind, and along each side of the vehicle – especially on the right side.
In the illustration below, the commercial motor vehicle’s blind spots, or “No Zones”, are highlighted in blue. These are areas to avoid whenever possible.
The Georgia TACT Project
Targeting Aggressive Cars & Trucks (And Motorcycles!)
Law Enforcement is stopping people who drive unsafely around semi-trucks, whether the person is driving a car, motorcycle or semi-truck.
What to do to avoid getting a ticket:
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.