Georgia governor pushes for motorcycle safety - WRBL

Georgia governor pushes for motorcycle safety

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is reminding you to share the road as accidents can be far worse than your average fender bender.

Last year 132 motorcyclists died on Georgia roads, and with 200,000 registered motorcycles in the state, the governor wants to ensure everyone is using road etiquette.

On Jan. 11 Dennis "Muddy" Beck was riding his motorcycle to a meeting when a deer ran in front of him on the road. They collided and the Columbus Association of Motorcyclists member is still alive because of the safety precautions he took.

"I wear protective gear that makes other people make fun of me sometimes," he says. "I was wearing a hard, full-face helmet. I was wearing lots of exterior clothing that protected me from some of the road rash that I might have experienced by going down like that on a highway."

But he still endured five head injuries, three broken ribs and he lost the sight in one eye.

He's just one of many bikers in Columbus who have been in accidents, and Iron Cross member Scott Henderson says it's important for motorcyclists to have good insurance. "We've got a few people in our club who have been involved in a motorcycle accident," he says, "and there's not enough insurance coverage out there to cover their medical bills, and they've just been forced to file bankruptcy."

Beck also advises against riding alone. He says, "If you ride with a group or you have people you can ride with, then there's someone there if you do go down. I was just fortunate that a woman who was an EMT drove by and saw the dead deer, saw the motorcycle parts shining off on the side of the road and then turned around and came back and found me."

Despite the accident, he plans to get back on his bike as soon as he's fully recovered. "It's my way to go. I use it to go to work, I use it to go to school, I use it to do things that I need to do. It's my primary method of transportation."

Gov. Deal says to always be observant and allow three to four seconds of distance if you're driving behind a motorcycle.

Minor obstacles like potholes and speed bumps can prove to be major hazard for bikers.

Motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a crash than other motorists.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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