Arman Deganian is a partner at Litner + Deganian, where he combines insurance company experience and a laid-back style to best represent his personal injury clients. When he’s not riding his motorcycle to work or through Midtown, he enjoys playing baseball, running, and backpacking far-off locales.
I started riding a motorcycle about 10 years ago. At first, it was just a good way to get around the city easily, but as work and life became filled with more obligations, it also became a great stress reliever. I love that feeling of being able to turn everything off when I get on the bike—no phones and no distractions.
But riding a motorcycle is a risk, and I’m always weighing that risk against the freedom I feel on the road. As an Atlanta motorcycle attorney, I regularly see the after-effects of a bad crash, and I know just how unavoidable many of these wrecks are. My own crash in 2014 left me with double shoulder surgery and a smashed bike.
But there are ways to ride more safely, take precautions, and be smart on the road. Here are some of my top tips for staying safe, drawing on both my experience as a rider and a motorcycle accident lawyer in Georgia.
What do you do to stay safe while riding?
I always assume people don’t see me when I’m on my motorcycle. So, if you see someone waiting to turn out of a driveway or cross-street, be ready to hit the brakes. When you go through an intersection, slow down.
I also always wear proper attire. This means never riding in shorts or regular tennis shoes. You’ll want to wear shoes or boots that cover your ankles, plus heavyweight clothing that completely covers your arms and legs. You won’t find me riding my bike to work on days when I need to appear in court for this very reason.
And to top everything off, you need a helmet meeting Department of Transportation (DOT) standards. Look for the DOT label on the outside and a permanent inside label.
If I’m just starting out, how can I become a safe motorcycle rider?
A lot of times in a crash, there’s nothing you can do. How it turns out is often based on how you handle it. In my own collision, I had about half a second to make a decision when I saw a car pull out in front of me. I could drop the bike or hit the car on purpose. Afraid I’d be run over, I hit the car on purpose and flipped. I was badly hurt, but the alternative could have been much worse. I was able to make that decision because I’ve taken safety courses offered by the state—something I recommend for any rider.
Take care of your motorcycle, checking your tire pressure regularly, your lights, and your fluid levels. After my crash, I took a few years off, but when it came time to replace my motorcycle, I chose a Triumph, my favorite kind of bike. It’s dependable and safe.
Finally, this one may sound obvious, especially coming from a lawyer, but obey Georgia laws. Don’t speed. Stay in your lane. Ride defensively. And never drink and drive—43 percent of riders who die in single-vehicle crashes are alcohol-impaired.
If I’m ever in a Georgia motorcycle accident, what should I do?
A lot comes down to preparation. In addition to taking safety courses that help you know how to handle your bike in a wreck, keep insurance and emergency contact info on your person and on your motorcycle. If you’re hurt, make sure you get medical attention, following the same procedure you would for a car crash.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle wreck, you need an Atlanta motorcycle attorney to represent your interests. You can get a free consultation at our office, conveniently located in Druid Hills near Emory and Decatur.