Taking a motorcycle out on the open road for a scenic drive is an iconic American pastime. While having the wind at your back can feel exhilarating, riding a motorcycle comes with some serious risk. In fact, motorcyclists are substantially overrepresented in auto accidents. Motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely to die in an accident than automobile drivers. Even though vehicles are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents, those on motorcycles are more likely to suffer from fatal injuries because they lack the protection an automobile provides.
A number of factors contribute to motorcycle accidents and fatalities. Some factors, such as distracted driving and impairment from substances, are similar to auto motorists. Other factors, however, are unique to motorcyclists. For instance, auto motorists are less likely to see motorcyclists than those who operate vehicles. This lack of visual recognition greatly increases a motorcyclist’s risk for injury or fatality. Moreover, issues with debris and potholes on road ways along with inclement weather can easily result in loss of control and injury for motorcyclists.
Although those who ride motorcycles take on risks, there are steps motorcyclists can take to increase their safety. The following are important road hazards those on motorcycles should look for.
Top 7 Motorcycle Road Hazards
Strong gusts of wind can easily throw you off balance while riding. Before heading out on your motorcycle, be sure to check your local weather forecast. If winds pick up, pull over and wait until they die down.
A gravel road is not a motorcyclist’s friend—especially when taking sharp turns. Use extreme caution on gravel surfaces.
Poorly maintained roads and sections of construction can create a hazardous environment for riders. If you see a stretch of ill-maintained roadway or a stretch of construction, consider taking another route or ride as cautiously as possible.
Edge Breaks Between Lanes
An “edge break” is the section between two lanes of road that are varying heights. Edge breaks pose dangers when changing lanes—particularly at high speeds.
Debris on the Road
Pieces of tire thread, fragments of boxes, and branches on the road could be disastrous for motorcycle riders. Motorcyclists should stay vigilant at all times while riding.
Ice, snow, and rain is treacherous for auto drivers and motorcyclists alike. Whenever possible, avoid operating a motorcycle when roads are wet or during times of precipitation.
Be extra careful when crossing rail lines. The wood and metal pieces of railroad tracks can be difficult to ride over when wet. The wheels of a motorcycle can become trapped in sections of rail tracks, too.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
Operating a motorcycle with caution could mean the difference between life or death. The following are important safety tips to consider:
- Avoid heavy traffic. End-of-workday rush hour is dangerous enough—especially for those on motorcycles.
- Use both your front and rear brakes. When breaking, do so slowly to avoid your brakes locking up.
- Do not tailgate. Riding too closely to other vehicles increases your risks for accidents.
- Ride with good posture. Proper posture helps ensure that you maintain balance and control on your motorcycle.
- Invest in a great insurance policy with plenty of coverage for yourself and other motorists in the event of an accident, particularly including uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
If you have suffered from a motorcycle accident, consulting with an attorney can help you protect your rights and recover from your injuries. Our personal injury attorney, Davey Jones,serves motorists in and around Alexandria, Louisiana. Call the Jones Law Firm at (318) 442-1515 to consult with our team.