Come every spring, motorcyclists come out of hibernation and hit the open roads. By the time summer rolls around, these bikes can be seen everywhere. Their loud engines are a harbinger of summer weather, but riders and others who share the roads with them must make safety a priority to prevent serious motorcycle accidents. Once the hot weather is here, there are additional safety precautions to take that can keep motorcyclists out of danger.
Motorcycles do not offer the same protection as cars and trucks. Motorcycle riders are out in the open with little protection other than helmets, boots, gloves, and goggles. It is a two-way street when it comes to mutual respect and defensive driving. Not all motorcycle crashes are caused by the riders, either. These crashes happen because drivers may not see the bikers in the first place. This could be because the cycle is in a car or truck’s blind spot, or a motorist might not understand when a motorcycle is entitled to the right-of-way. Car and truck drivers might also not anticipate the motorcycle’s movements, be distracted, or simply be driving recklessly, such as speeding.
Wear the Right Gear for Summer
Even though it get can quite hot outside, always wearing the right kind of full-coverage gear is essential. In the winter, the clothing can be heavier and warmer, so it makes sense to have another set for warmer temperatures. These can be made of more breathable, absorbent materials for added comfort, but clothing should also be reflective or bright to help with visibility. Riders should stick to wearing jackets and full-length pants, too. There are also helmets out there that are made with vents that aid with air circulation.
Prepare the Bike for Summer Rides
Whether the motorcycle was in storage or used throughout the year, it should get a summer tune-up. This means cleaning the radiator, checking the tread and inflation on the tires, and topping off all of the fluids. It also is wise to visit the mechanic to see if the particular model is known to have any kind of heat-related issues and what to do about them.
Stay Cool and Hydrated
High heat and plenty of sunshine can make for great riding, but staying hydrated while on the bike is a must. When the weather is especially hot and dry, the human body requires extra water. On a bike, this means consuming about a gallon or more a day. Many riders wait until they take a rest stop or arrive at their destination before consuming water, but it is smarter to use a water bladder. These can be strapped on the back and have tubes that act like straws to sip from while moving. Riders can drink a little bit as a time on the road. Coffee and other caffeinated drinks can be dehydrating, so it is a good idea to stay away from those in the hot weather. Instead, riders can seek refreshment from sports drinks, juices, and fruits, and check any labels for caffeine content.
Certain times of the day are hotter than others, so it also makes sense to ride the motorcycle when the sun is not at its strongest. Experts recommended heading out early and planning to make stops between noon and 5:00 p.m. A lot of distance can be covered in the morning hours. Stopping for the day in the mid-afternoon is often the best move. Aside from the hot sun, summer thunderstorms are more likely in the late afternoon and early evenings. Riding at dusk or at night is also more hazardous for motorcycle riders.
If a motorcyclist starts feeling dehydrated, lightheaded, or dizzy, it is imperative to cool down as soon as possible. Pulling over to a safe location to drink some water can help, but in severe cases, the best step to do is to go home and take a cool shower. In severe cases, it may be necessary to call 911, but planning in advance to stay hydrated can prevent this from happening.
Pick the Right Bike
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) advises motorcyclists to avoid supersport bikes, as these have death rates that are about four times higher than standard motorcycles. It is better to get a motorcycle with high safety ratings and with important features like anti-lock brakes. New motorcyclists can get the safest cycles they can afford and take motorcycle safety courses.
Taking long solo trips and bringing along passengers both require extra skill and should not be done by unexperienced riders. Driving defensively at all times is of the utmost importance, especially at intersections; this is where many motor vehicle accidents occur.
Reckless motorcycle driving is strongly discouraged. There are rules for the road that need to be followed, and speeding, riding on the shoulders or between lanes, and tailgating are all highly dangerous. Headlights should be kept on at all times, and motorcyclists need to keep a constant watch for road debris, oil slicks, potholes, gravel, puddles, railroad tracks, and reckless drivers.
Mount Laurel Personal Injury Lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Understand the Importance of Year-Round Motorcycle Safety
Even the most safety-conscious motorcycle riders get into accidents. The injuries can be traumatic and life-threatening, and the medical expenses, and pain and suffering can be overwhelming. If you were involved in a motorcycle crash, you should get in touch with the dedicated Mount Laurel personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman. Complete our online form or call us at 856-751-2345 for a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.