As is the case in every state, there are certain rules and regulations that you must follow before you can operate a motorcycle in Georgia. Neglecting to understand and obey these rules could get you into legal trouble, as well as lead to other negative consequences. Failing to have the required motorcycle insurance, for example, could mean paying out of pocket for an accident. Use these frequently asked questions to understand the basics of riding a motorcycle in Georgia.
Does Georgia Require Motorcycle Insurance?
Yes. Like most states, Georgia requires motorcyclists to purchase automobile insurance and carry proof of insurance on their person when riding. It is against the law to let your insurance lapse if you still plan on operating the motorcycle. The minimum required amounts of motorcycle insurance in Georgia are:
$25,000 in bodily injury or death liability insurance per person
$50,000 in bodily injury or death liability insurance per accident
$25,000 in property damage liability insurance
These are some of the highest minimum insurance limit requirements in the country. It is possible to purchase additional types of insurance for further coverage, such as collision and comprehensive insurance. Operating a motorcycle without insurance can result in a traffic ticket, fines, driver’s license suspension and personal liability for an accident.
What Does Motorcycle Insurance Cover?
Bodily injury liability insurance covers medical costs and other related losses, such as lost wages, related to an injury in an accident. Liability insurance pays for others’ bills, not the policyholder’s. If you have guest passenger liability insurance, this will pay for the bodily injuries of any passengers riding on your motorcycle. Property damage liability insurance will pay for repairs to the other party’s vehicle.
For coverage for your own motorcycle, regardless of fault, you would need to purchase additional insurance, such as collision or comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage will reimburse you for motorcycle repairs in almost any circumstances. Comprehensive coverage pays for expenses related to vandalism, natural disasters and acts of God.
Whose Insurance Pays for a Motorcycle Accident in Georgia?
Georgia is a fault-based insurance state. Under this insurance rule, the driver or party at fault for causing the motorcycle accident will be financially responsible. That driver’s automobile insurance will have to pay for victims’ medical bills, property repairs and other losses. It is up to the injured accident victim, however, to prove the other party’s fault. Without proof of fault, it may not be possible to recover compensation from the other driver’s insurance provider.
What Are the Other Requirements to Ride a Motorcycle in Georgia?
Automobile insurance is only one of several legal requirements to operate a motorcycle in Georgia. The state has many rules in place to increase traffic safety for all road users. You must obey the following:
Traffic laws. Motorcycles are subject to all of the same traffic laws as passenger cars. Riders must obey traffic signs, speed limits and the general rules of the road. Motorcyclists cannot lane split (ride between two lanes of same-direction traffic) in Georgia.
Motorcycle license requirement. You must learn how to ride and obtain a Georgia motorcycle license (Class M). This requires passing a knowledge exam, vision test and motorcycle road skills test.
Helmet requirement. A helmet is required for all motorcycle riders and passengers in Georgia. Riders must also have eye protection if their motorcycles do not have windscreens.
Mandatory motorcycle equipment. To be roadworthy, a motorcycle in Georgia must have a mirror, turn signals (if built after 1971), a headlight, and a muffler. A motorcyclist can only carry a passenger if the motorcycle is designed to do so.
Obeying George’s motorcycle laws can help you avoid a motorcycle accident, as well as refute liability if a collision does occur. For more information about the laws that pertain to you, consult with an Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney today.