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Jason R. Schultz P.C

Safe Motorcycle Group Riding


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2/18/2016
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Riding a motorcycle can be an enjoyable experience. Riding alongside others who share your beliefs can be even more so. Nevertheless, when it comes to safe motorcycle group riding, many riders do not know the basics.

What is good group riding etiquette?

If you think of etiquette as the basic rules for acceptable behavior, the notion that there should be some formal expectations for group riders makes sense. So what should a rider do to properly ride in a group?

  • Be prepared. Show up with a full tank of gas, a tool kit in case of emergency, and a first aid kit.
  • Have a leader (or lead bike). The group should meet in advance and select a leader who will be responsible for planning the route and any stops the group will make.
  • Pick a tail (known as the sweep rider, sweeper, sweep, or drag bike). The lead rider and the tail rider are the ones who should have the most experience with group rides as they will be primarily responsible for both maintaining the formation and keeping an eye on junior riders. Sweeps should keep a cell phone on them to call for help in case another rider suffers an injury.
  • Stay with the group. Formation planning and execution depends on the riders performing as expected. This is a safety precaution that simply must be followed for everyone's sake.
  • Do not show off. Group riding is there for everyone to enjoy, not for individual showboating. Showing off or doing tricks can get someone hurt.
  • Know and use proper hand signals.

What hand signals should a rider know?

Communication between motorcycle riders in formation is, for obvious reasons, difficult. And riders should never ride and try to talk on their phones. Hand signals are the best option to safely and effectively share information.

Some common hand signals include signaling for stops, turns, speed adjustments, roadway issues, and even immediate needs like fuel or comfort requirements. Check out Esurance’s hand signals guide before your next ride.

What kind of formation should group riders use?

Georgia law does permit the riding of two motorcycles abreast in a single lane O.C.G.A. §40-6-312 (2010). Although it may be legal, it is not the safest choice as when two motorcycles share a lane if one loses control, it is more likely to become tangled with another and therefore both riders are susceptible to harm.

Instead, the safer way to ride is in a staggered or “zigzag” formation. This means the lead and sweep riders take their place in the left hand side of the lane while riders in the middle alternate sides. This ensures that riders are able to avoid hazards or make emergency maneuvers without endangering other riders.

Whether in a group or riding alone, motorcycle riders suffer serious injuries in accidents. If you or someone you love was hurt in a motorcycle accident, talk to a motorcycle accident lawyer from the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. Contact us today at 404-474-0804.



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