Avoid hazardous situations when enjoying open road on motorcycles

ajc.com

As the weather begins to warm up, more people will be getting back on their motorcycles and hitting the open road. If you are one of these riders, here are some seasonal and local hazards you should be aware of. A good sense of situational awareness will go a long ways to keeping you out of a bad situation.

Road hazards

Spring and summer are busy times for road repair crews. Many road surfaces in the area are under construction /repair and the surfaces of many roads may be different than the last time you were on your bike. Make sure that you know what the road conditions are for the area you are going to be riding in.

Also, be sure to slow down and be mindful of road repair crews. Be observant of construction signs and posted speed limits.

Just as automobile drives have a responsibility to look out for motorcycle operators, motorcycle operators have a responsibility to look out for others, too.

Keep an eye on the weather

Summertime in Ohio is a time for unpredictable weather. Be sure to check the forecast before you go for an extended ride. It’s always a good idea to plan ahead for bad weather. Bring some dry clothes or make sure you have your rain gear with you if it looks as though it may rain. It is also important that riders be aware of how to handle their motorcycle properly in high winds that often accompany summer storms.

If you are riding and wind gusts start pushing your bike, keep a firm grip on the handlebars, lean your bike into the wind by counter steering, keep an upright posture, and keep plenty of distance between you and other vehicles.

Remember, if a tornado is in the area, don’t try to out run it. Take shelter!

Stay sober and alert

Summer time is a great time of year for cookouts, camping, relaxing and having fun. If you do have a few drinks, stay off your bike. Alcohol is a major contributor to motorcycle collisions, particularly fatal collisions. Studies show that 40 to 50% of all riders killed in motorcycle crashes had been drinking.

Only one-third of those riders had a BAC above legal limits. The rest had only a few drinks in their systems, enough to impair their riding skills. Motorcyclists’ abilities are impaired well before reaching the .08 BAC level.

Riding “under the influence” of alcohol poses physical and legal hazards for every rider. Be smart, be safe, don’t drink and ride. And even if you are sober, remain alert for those riders or automobile drivers who may be intoxicated. Knowing what is going on around you may be the thing that saves your life.