Motorcycle Safety Tips for Springtime Riding
One of the most exciting things about spring and summer for some people is the opportunity to get back onto their motorcycles. What better way to enjoy the return of warm weather and the local wildlife than a nice long motorcycle ride! But it is important to remember that while motorcycles are fun, they can also be very dangerous.
Whether you are new or a seasoned veteran to riding motorcycles, it is always a good idea to review safety tips before hitting the open road. Refreshing yourself with general motorcycle safety is one of the best steps you can take to make sure you or a loved one remain uninjured while riding motorcycles.
Spring weather can be unpredictable. One minute may be sunny and the next could be covered in a foot of snow. If you are driving after adverse weather in the spring, pay special attention to the roads. Just because the sun is out and the roads look safe does not mean they will be.
Remember that roads are always the most dangerous after a brief rain. Roads are most dangerous after a light rain because oil and dirt rise to the top of the pavement and are not washed away, creating an especially slippery surface.
Alternatively, if it rains for too long, standing water can also become a hazard on the roadway, specifically for motorcycles. Hydroplaning and loss of control become a greater risk when there is standing water on the road. Finally, depending on where you ride motorcycles, you should watch out for ice on the road. Just one small patch of ice can be devastating.
Hazardous Road Conditions in Spring
Aside from the weather, the general state of the road could be a hazardous condition to watch out for. Road impurities such as potholes, bumps, and cracks can send you and your bike into an uncontrollable state because of the light weight of your motorcycle.
If you find yourself in a position where you must go over one of these roadway hazards, be sure to slow down so that you are able to maneuver safely. Whatever you do, avoid slamming on the brakes or swerving to avoid the obstacle. Applying to much pressure to the brakes will likely damage your front end suspension, and swerving puts you in a situation where you can easily lose control. Also, make sure you are holding the handlebars tightly and give your legs room to absorb the shock. Once you are over the hazard safely, it would be wise to pull over and inspect your bike for possible damages.
Gravel can also present a hazard to you and your bike. The rocks will cause your bike to lose traction to the road, which makes it more likely you and your bike will slide. Avoid braking or accelerating suddenly while on gravel.
Road debris is a serious danger to any driver in any vehicle. But road debris is especially hazardous to motorcyclists.
Considerably smaller debris is needed to make a motorcycle lose control than is needed to make a larger vehicle lose control. Even when avoiding road debris, sometimes the hazard is unavoidable. In these instances, it is best to avoid hard braking or strong swerving to miss the debris.
Safe Driving for Motorcyclists
Unfortunately, the environment is not the only danger to consider while riding a motorcycle. Other drivers can pose more of a threat on the road than environmental factors. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from other motorists.
First, drive defensively. Always be on the lookout for possible hazards or other drivers on the roadway.
Second, make an effort to ensure your motorcycle is visible. One of the most common reasons for accidents involving motorcyclists is that other drivers simply do not see them. A couple of ways to help your visibility is by wearing a bright colored jacket, or by making sure your headlights are always on. Use turn signals properly so other drivers understand your intentions, especially before switching lanes. Avoid the blind spots of other drivers, and do not hesitate to use your horn to alert someone to your presence on the road.
While all of these tips will help you avoid wrecks and motorcycle crashes, sometimes they still happen. When they do, it is vital to your health and survival that you be wearing a helmet. While it may seem like an inconvenience, it may be the only thing that keeps you alive in the wake of a crash.
Finally, in the event of an unavoidable crash, it is important to have reliable insurance for you and the bike. Even fun summer toys need to be insured.
If you have found yourself in one of these situations that have been the cause of a motorcycle accident, seek legal help from an attorney right away, as the evidence can disappear quickly.