Being king of the road is awesome!
Imagine driving along a long stretch of road, having complete freedom.
Unfortunately, in Georgia, that’s most likely not the case.
You will have to share the road — with other vehicles, cyclists, trucks, and even pedestrians.
This is why the State of Georgia has come up with road rules.
And this is why, here, we’ll be looking at those road rules.
So are you ready to learn about the Georgia road rules?
Buckle up and let’s go!
Road Rules in Georgia
Here is an outline of what we’ll be looking at in this article:
- Sharing the road with pedestrians
- Sharing the road with bicycles
- Sharing the road with motorcycles
- Sharing the road with school buses
- Sharing the road with trucks
So let’s look at these one by one.
Sharing the Road with Pedestrians
First up, let’s focus on the pedestrians.
In Georgia, it’s a rule to stop for a pedestrian when:
- A pedestrian is crossing and is half of the roadway
- You’re about to make a turn at an intersection, regardless of the direction
- Pedestrians are still on the crosswalk, despite the traffic signal turning green
- Joining traffic from a private road, alley, or driveway
- A blind person is crossing the street. You’ll spot them from their white cane or service dog.
Never forget to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are at crosswalks.
Another road rule is that you should NOT block crosswalks. So at a stop sign, make sure to stop before you reach the crosswalk.
Besides crosswalks, it’s important to always look out for pedestrians on the road. This is especially true in areas near schools, parks, and bus stops.
Pay particular attention when you’re at intersections, about to round a corner, or passing cars on a multi-lane road.
If you need to stop somewhere, make sure that it is at least 10 feet from a crosswalk. This is so other vehicles can spot pedestrians crossing.
Sharing the Road with Bicycles
Bicycles have become an accepted form of transportation for school and work, so you’re likely to encounter them at all times of the day.
Since this is the case, it’s best to know what to do when you share the road with cyclists.
If you notice that cyclists use the entire width of a lane, know that they aren’t breaking any rules. They may slow down the traffic, but they have every right to be there — and we must respect that.
Also, at intersections, you need to yield to bicycles as you would any other vehicle.
As for passing a bicycle, there are specific rules in Georgia. These are:
- If you’re going to switch lanes to pass a bicycle, don’t enter the one where the bicyclist is nearest. For example, if the bicycle is more to the right, you need to pass by the left lane.
- If switching lanes isn’t an option, reduce your speed to 10 miles below the allowable limit or 25 mph (whichever is higher) before proceeding around the bicycle.
If you violate these passing rules, you may pay a fine of up to $250 and be charged with a misdemeanor.
Now, since bicycles don’t have light signals, the riders usually signal using their arms. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these arm signals.
Sharing the road with bicycles becomes even more challenging at night. Make sure to keep an extra eye out for these cyclists.
And, if you see one coming towards you, dim your lights. Using your high beams will blind the rider.
Sharing the Road with Motorcycles
Regarding road rights and responsibilities, vehicles and motorcycles are the same.
However, because the outline of motorcycles is so much smaller, you’ll need to take a second or third look at them on the road. They often appear farther and seem to travel slower than they actually are.
Like bicycles, they may appear suddenly, so it’s best to check your blind spots before entering or leaving a lane or intersection.
Like cars, motorcycles can occupy an entire lane’s width because they need space to maneuver their vehicle safely. Don’t insist on sharing a lane with them.
You may also notice that motorcycles change positions and speed more often when road conditions change. What may be a minor concern for you when driving a car can be a significant challenge to them. These include potholes, gravel, railroad crossings, grooved pavements, and wet or slippery surfaces.
Typically, you’re encouraged to follow the 3-second rule to ensure you have enough distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. For motorcycles, make it a 4-second rule. Remember, motorcycles stop more quickly than cars.
Sharing the Road with School Buses
There’s no missing a school bus that’s loading and unloading children. The flashing red or amber lights are a dead giveaway.
Typically, you must yield in this situation, no matter what lane you are in. However, if you’re traveling along a highway separated by median strips, you only stop if you’re traveling in the same direction as the bus.
If there is no strip, you must stop and stay that way until the bus starts moving again or deactivates its loading/unloading signal. You must also ensure that all children who got off have cleared the roadway.
Here is the complete Operation Stop Arm brochure detailing what you should do when sharing the road with a school bus.
Sharing the Road with Trucks
Another type of vehicle you have to share the Georgia roadways with is trucks.
Before anything else, you have to see how different driving a truck is from a car. This way, you’ll know how to be careful around them.
First, a fully loaded truck needs three times more stopping distance, even if it’s only traveling 55 mph.
Second, large trucks need more space to turn. Plus, it is more challenging to maneuver because they’re heavier and longer.
Last, sharing the road with them is difficult because they have several no-zones. If you stay there, the driver won’t see you, making it a dangerous place to be.
Here’s a visual of a truck’s No-Zones:
- Side No-Zone: Trucks have large blind spots on both sides. How will you know if you’re in that no-zone? A telltale sign is if you can’t see the driver’s face in the side-view mirror.
- Rear No-Zone: Truck drivers cannot see vehicles directly behind them because they have no rearview mirror. You also won’t have any idea what the road is like in front of it. If there’s a hazard that requires it to stop suddenly and you’re too close, you’ll likely collide with it.
- Front No-Zone: Trucks need a longer stopping distance, so if you’re passing one or switching lanes, don’t cut in front of them only to slow down immediately. You can avoid getting into the Front No-Zone by ensuring you can see the truck’s entire front cab before switching into its lane.
Knowing how to share the road properly with trucks doesn’t just keep you safe — it also helps you avoid citations. Here are some times to keep in mind:
- Do not cut a CMV off
- Don’t tailgate
- Allow trucks and other CMVs to have ample space to maneuver properly
So that was the Georgia road rules.
Now, you know how to share the road with pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, school buses, and trucks.
As much as you want to drive freely, that is very unlikely on a busy Georgia highway. So make sure to follow the road rules set out for you.
And remember, these rules keep you, your passengers, and everyone using Georgia’s roadways safe.
So always keep them in mind and drive responsibly!