How to Prevent Autumn Motorcycle Accidents
After the hot, muggy weather of June through August, you are likely looking forward to riding your motorcycle through the fall and winter months. Temperatures in Louisiana turn comfortable during November and only begin cooling off in December and January.
Autumn in Louisiana is perfect motorcycle riding weather. However, there are also a few challenges that can increase your risk of a motorcycle accident. Take care with these tips and safety reminders to help you stay safe during the fall months.
Exercise Caution on Slick Roads
After a dry spell, an initial rain can bring up the oils deposited on the road from cars and other motorcycles. This can make for slick conditions. Take care while riding on winding and narrow roads, as the rain and oil can reduce your tires’ traction on the road. Moderate your speed and drive with caution. It’s not uncommon to be a bit rusty handling slick roads if you’ve not been riding through the summer months. Defensive driving can always minimize your risk of a motorcycle accident.
Watch out for other hazards on the road as well. Even a small pothole can disrupt the forward motion of a motorcycle and result in an accident. If you notice an upcoming hazard, try to ride around it. If you can’t avoid it, adjust your speed accordingly.
Check Your Bike’s Mechanics
After the summer riding season, your bike may need a quick tune-up to be sure that all the parts are functioning correctly and your tires have good tread and air pressure. Inspect the bike thoroughly before taking it out. Make sure you have adequate levels of coolant, brake fluid, and other liquids. Address any damage you find promptly and replace worn-out parts immediately.
Carry Wet Weather Gear
The chance of precipitation through the fall and winter months is lower than during the summer months. However, riding in cooler weather in soaking wet clothes is uncomfortable and may increase your risk of getting sick. Carry wet weather gear with you and dress in layers to make accommodation for the cooler temperatures.
Stay Visible to Other Drivers
Motorists sometimes have difficulty noticing motorcyclists. Especially during the fall months when they may be doing more leaf-peeping than they should. This is why it’s so important for motorcyclists to be hypervigilant while sharing the road with larger vehicles. Take care to watch for signs that the other driver is distracted. They may be swerving or weaving in and out of their lane. Let them get far enough ahead of you that you aren’t impacted by their driving or pass them with care.
Dress appropriately, so others can see you. While riding at night can provide beautiful views, it can become life-threatening if other motorists don’t notice you. Avoid wearing black clothes. Consider brightly colored jackets or reflective jackets, so you don’t blend in with the surroundings. Add reflectors to your motorcycle and helmet so drivers can see you.
Take Care While Leaf-Peeping
The fall foliage in Louisiana peaks at the end of October or early November. This is the perfect time to see the spectacular fall color show nature puts on. It’s absolutely gorgeous to take long rides through the parks and see the variety of colors. But it’s vital you don’t become distracted while driving as this can increase the risk of a motorcycle accident. Several tips that can help include:
- Increase your following distance to the vehicle in front of you. Other motorists can also be distracted, and you’ll have more time to react if the car or bike in front of you brakes suddenly.
- Look for a spacious shoulder or scenic overlook where you can exit the flow of traffic and take pictures or soak up the views.
- Be on the lookout for others along the side of the road who may not be paying close attention to what’s going on around them.
Watch for Wildlife
During the fall months, wild animals search more actively for food. From mid-November to mid-January, deer and other animals are breeding in Louisiana. This means there will be more activity on the roads that don’t include motorists. Try to maximize your peripheral vision by wearing the appropriate helmet and staying alert for hazards to give yourself more reaction time. Keep your eyes moving when you are riding in areas where wildlife is likely to be present.
Have You Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
Despite taking precautions, accidents do happen. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, it’s important to act quickly. There is a statute of limitations during which you must file a personal injury lawsuit. If you wait too long, you may not be eligible to be compensated for damages through the court system.
The legal team at Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC serves our clients with compassion and respect. Our years of experience have helped accident victims recover damages. You are our top priority as we build a case to reach your desired outcome.