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It’s no secret, spring is one of the best times of year to go for a ride on your motorcycle. Yet, there are some road hazards that motorcyclists should avoid this spring, that many may not have been aware of. One of the last things you worry about while riding your motorcycle is the cost of motorcycle insurance. Motorcycle insurance is just one of those things that you hope you will never have to use.
In my experience, the best way to avoid an accident is to be informed about the risks you may encounter. That way you can be aware of a potential hazard that you may not have previously recognized.
Today I wanted to bring to your attention four often overlooked road hazards that all motorcyclists should avoid this spring.
Road Hazard #1: Rough Roads
Look, winter is rough on the roadways. Especially if you live in a colder climate where snow regularly falls, springtime is often the time of year when roads are their roughest. For motorcyclists, even a small pothole or opening in the road can mean an accident. And in the spring, there is no shortage of potholes large and small.
What may have been a small crack in the road last fall, could now be a large pothole.
As you may know, it is not very difficult for those large plow trucks to tear up the road and create hazards for motorcyclists. If you are going for a ride on your motorcycle in early spring, keep in mind there are likely a lot of new potholes. It may be best to know the roads you are riding on if you choose to ride in early spring before the roads can be repaired.
Road Hazard #2: Sand on the Road
This road hazard goes hand in hand with the last one. Whether you have am easy-rolling Harley-Davidson or are riding the fastest motorcycle you can find, sand that has piled up on the road is not your friend!
Sand and salt are used in the winter to melt ice and provide traction. But in the spring they do just the opposite for motorcyclists. Over the winter, sand may have accumulated on the sides and middle of the roadway. These accumulations can be a big hazard for any motorcyclist who doesn’t see it coming
Road Hazard #3: Grass on the Road
This is one of the most overlooked hazards that motorcyclists may be at risk for in the spring and summer months. Grass on the road is something that we often see, and many of us don’t take a second look. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents caused by grass clippings in the roadway are much more common than most people realize.
Grass on the road, much like leaves in the fall can reduce a bikes traction dramatically. Some riders even describe it as “driving on glass”.
As a result of the reduced traction, a motorcyclist can easily lose control of their bike. Unfortunately, grass on the road is more common than it should be. Many feel that there are not enough laws against grass on the road. Others feel that it is simply that most folks are not even aware of the issue. As a result, many homeowners and even some professional lawn care companies aren’t aware that leaving grass on the road can be such a hazard to bikers.
Road Hazard #4: Animals
This final road hazard for motorcyclists to avoid is a year-round problem, but it is most prevalent in the springtime. Spring is the time of year when animals are most active. Babies are being born, mammals are waking up from a long winter rest, and as a result there are a lot more animals to watch out for while riding.
Animals on the road are responsible for an estimated 253,000 automobile accidents annually. That number may be even higher as about 50% of animal collisions go unreported.
Although animals are an important thing to avoid in a car, the risk that even small animals pose while you are on a motorcycle is much higher. It’s not just the living animals that put motorcyclists at risk either. Roadkill may also lead to an accident for an unsuspecting motorcyclist. As a result of more active animal populations, there is often much more roadkill in the springtime. An avid biker should keep this in mind when they ride.
What’s the Bottom Line?
One of the best ways to avoid an accident on your motorcycle is to always be aware of your surroundings. Familiarizing yourself with any road hazards you may encounter, and informing others is a great way to be ready when the time comes. Learning how to avoid road hazards is a proactive way to avoid an unnecessary wreck. In the springtime, these four road hazards are just a few of the things that motorcyclists should keep their eyes out for.
Douglas Dedrick is landscaper with over a decade of experience, and a writer on several topics including lawn care, landscaping, and law. Connect with him or read more at Healing Law.