As winter loosens its grip and the weather warms, more motorcycles emerge onto our roads. It is important that motorcycle riders take extra safety precautions to avoid accidents. Here are some springtime safety tips to make your ride both enjoyable and safe.
Kentucky spring weather changes often. There’s plenty of rain, which makes roads more dangerous, especially when it begins. Mud also creates slick conditions that can make for dangerous cornering. Nighttime glare from wet pavement can also impair a cyclist’s vision, not to mention that of other drivers. Melting springtime ice and snows can also be a hazard. Keep an eye on weather forecasts before you hop on your bike.
Always drive defensively. This is probably the best (some say the only) way to safely ride a motorcycle – anytime. AAA reports that most vehicle vs. motorcycle accidents happen because drivers say it’s hard to see bikers. This is why you should try to wear brightly colored clothing (or a reflective vest over your jacket); leave your headlights on all the time; use turn signals; honk your horn if a car is approaching too fast; and don’t drive in other vehicles’ blind spots. Always try to look several car lengths down the road; if you’re in traffic, watch the wheels of vehicles in lanes next to yours as they give you a split second of warning that a vehicle is drifting into your lane.
Potholes, pavement cracks and puddles make it harder for motorcyclists to hold the road. Try to avoid them so you won’t suddenly spin out of control. Swerving and slamming on your brakes is dangerous since you could lose control of your bike, especially if pavement is not completely dry. Try to slow down as best you can when driving in poor road conditions. More caution means a safe arrival. Also, be careful on gravel roads and don’t brake severely as you’ll go into a slide and might end up laying your bike down. Gravel is another road surface that is hazardous to motorcyclists. As bad as sliding on concrete or asphalt can be, sliding on gravel, even if you’re wearing leather, can produce severe road rash. The more cautious you are on gravel, the better.
Wear a Helmet and the Proper Protective Clothing
Always wear a helmet. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) helmets save the lives of over 1,000 people every year. Protect your arms and legs from road rash by wearing leather or heavy denim. Those extra layers also help fight the springtime chill, especially at night. Boots or shoes should cover your ankles. Gloves make for a better grip and protect your hands if you have to lay the bike down. Again, if you can wear a bright article of clothing, you become more visible to other drivers.
If you have been injured riding your motorcycle because of the carelessness of another driver, please contact the Johnson Law Firm online, or call us today to schedule a free consultation.