Georgia motorcycle accident laws
Georgia’s motorcycle laws can primarily be found in Title 40, Chapter 6 (§ 40-6-310 through § 40-6-315). These statutes cover everything from right of way and lane splitting laws, to equipment and helmet requirements.
Georgia motorcycle helmet laws, for example, are specifically covered in § 40-6-315 (Headgear and eye-protective devices for riders) which states:
“No person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless he or she is wearing protective headgear which complies with standards established by the commissioner of public safety.”
In Georgia, the Commissioner of Public Safety has provided a written ruling to the Georgia Secretary of State saying that all helmets must meet the latest DOT (Department of Transportation) standards for motorcycle helmets in order to qualify as approved protective headgear.
Generally speaking, you can look for the DOT certified sticker on the back of the helmet. (Visit the NHTSA website
for tips on choosing the right motorcycle helmet.)
In addition to helmet requirements, Georgia’s code prescribes the following rules for motorcyclists:
● Motorcyclists have all the same rights and responsibilities to follow traffic laws as every other driver.
● Passengers may only ride on a motorcycle if there is a permanent and regular seat designed to carry a passenger. This passenger seat must be equipped with footrests, unless it is a sidecar or enclosed cab.
● Motorcyclists must sit astride the seat with one leg on either side of the bike, facing forward, at all times while operating the motorcycle.
● Motorcyclists must have both hands on the handlebars at all times. Any action that prevents this—such as carrying a package—is prohibited.
● Motorcyclists must wear footwear (they cannot go barefoot or wear socks without shoes).
● Motorcycles can drive 2 abreast in a single lane, but no more.
● Motorcyclists cannot overtake and pass a vehicle in the same lane.
● Lane splitting (going between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles) is against the law.
● Motorcycle handlebars must be 15 inches or less in height above the driver seat.
● All motorcycles must be equipped with a windshield, unless the operator is wearing a DOT-approved eye protection device.