A bike in disrepair and a rider out of practice. By the time summer hits, your motorcycle has been sitting in a garage all winter. It’s vital to check your bike thoroughly to ensure it’s road ready. You should check your tires, fluids, lights, controls, throttle, brakes, horn, mirrors, your helmet and any other gear. Make sure both you and your bike are ready for the demands of riding. Test your legs your first time out. Make sure you’re not feeling unsteady and practice stopping fast in order to get comfortable. Many warm weather accidents are avoidable when riders simply take the time to prepare themselves and their equipment.
When the snow is gone and the sun is out motorcycle enthusiasts across the country are excited to hit the road once again. Warmer weather regularly correlates with increased motorcycle fatalities, and deaths have risen even more in recent years as summers last longer and mandatory helmet laws continue to be repealed. As summer drags on, avoid being involved in an Illinois motorcycle accident by learning about the risks a new season of riding brings, including:
- Inclement Weather– Depending on what part of the country you live in, the summer months can bring all kinds of unexpected weather that can be hazardous for motorcycle riders, including strong rain and wind storms. Check the weather forecast and keep an eye on the sky for approaching inclement weather.
- Poor Road Conditions – A long winter of snow and salt does a lot of damage to roads. Freezing temperatures cause water that has seeped into cracks in the road to expand, creating potholes. Unfortunately, many states and cities are in dire economic circumstances and road budgets are continually slashed. This means trouble for motorcycle riders since potholes are especially dangerous for them. Larger ones can easily damage your suspension, tires, or wheels, and swerving can end in a loss of control. Try to be aware of pothole conditions wherever you’re going, and if they are unavoidable, slow down as much as you can before you go over them.
- Unaware Drivers – AAA reports that most accidents involving motorcycles are caused by drivers who just don’t see the motorcycle. The early warmer months are particularly dangerous as drivers aren’t used to seeing motorcyclists on the road. Don’t assume anyone can see you and drive defensively with that in mind. Make eye contact with drivers and sound your horn. For those driving cars, be on the lookout for motorcycle riders, and when you’re behind one, give them a wide margin.
- Reckless Driving – Drivers and motorcycle riders alike are prone to careless driving in warm weather that seems “easy” to drive in. Don’t let yourself get careless just because it’s nice out. Know where a car’s blind spot is and do your best to avoid it. Drive at a safe speed and never weave in and of lanes. Give a wide margin to cars so you have plenty of time to react in an emergency, and never tailgate.
- Changing Helmet Laws – Warm weather motorcycle deaths have increased in recent years as mandatory helmet laws have been repealed in several states and cities. No matter where you live, wear a helmet. It can save your life. In 2008 alone helmets saved the lives of almost 2,000 motorcyclists.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Illinois motorcycle accident lawyers from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 to discuss your case and get the compensation you deserve.