The front page WSB-TV website on Tuesday, February 9, 2016, displayed two prominent stories that are connected, although unintentionally. The lead banner headline relayed details of a winter weather advisory for the Atlanta area, including probable accumulation of snow. In another story, a video covered the story of I-75 closing due to a tragic motorcycle crash involving a head-on collision with a tractor trailer truck.
This blog post discusses the increased dangers of riding motorcycles in winter in Georgia.
Increased Number Of Accidents In The Winter Months
There is no question that all drivers and passengers face increased dangers during winter months. The federal Department of Transporation (DOT) Highway Safety Administration reports that during a typical winter driving season across the United States, nearly 7,400 drivers and passengers lose their lives and nearly 675,000 more are injured in crashes. Many can be directly related to adverse weather and road conditions.
Although snow is a relatively rare occurrence in central and southern Georgia, our winter rains often turn to sleet and freeze to the road surface overnight, when winter temperatures are apt to drop significantly.
Drivers in northern states are very familiar with the phenomina of black ice, which forms when an invisible layer of condensation freezes to the road surface. Bridge decks, in particular, become icy because the open air circulating beneath them remains colder than the ground. Fortunately, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) posts signs at most river bridges, warning of the danger of ice, but highway overpasses are subject to the same icy conditions.
Remember, if you see ice, be careful. If you don't see ice, be more careful.
Motorcyclists braving the challenges of winter roads are in particular danger. Not only will bikers face an increased risk of losing control of their motorcycle, but other drivers have a more difficult time bringing their car or truck to a stop or regaining control after going into a skid.
At Dozier Law Firm, in Macon and Savannah, we know that most bikers in Georgia are excellent, safe riders. But during the winter, there are weather factors which may mean your safety is out of your own control. If you must ride in wintery conditions, take extra precaution and try to avoid the high speeds of freeway riding.