The longer days, warmer temperatures and sunny skies of summer make it an ideal time to explore Michigan from the seat of a motorcycle. Despite its advantages, this popular season can also be dangerous. In fact, motorcycle accidents spike during July and August, due to an overall increase in traffic and a unique set of warm-weather hazards. Here is a guide to the most common summer perils and how to avoid them.
Nevertheless, some crashes are unavoidable, even for the most safety-conscious biker. If you are injured in a crash, our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys will protect your rights and win the compensation you deserve.
Recommended reading: Who Is At Fault In A Lane Splitting Accident?
Avoid riding during the hottest time of day, typically between noon and 3 p.m. If you start to become overheated, pull off the road and find a shaded area such as a rest stop where you can cool off and rehydrate.
When heat and humidity soar, it can be hard to tell when you are losing too much fluid. Therefore, bikers should a supply of water or electrolyte-infused beverages, such as Gatorade, and drink often while riding and during stops. Investing in a “camelback” water bottle can help maintain a consistent level of hydration.
In addition to damaging skin and increasing the risk of cancer, excessive sun exposure increases fatigue and affects metabolism, which can lead to dehydration. Before you ride, apply a sweat-resistant sunscreen or sunblock with at least 30 SPF on every uncovered area of the body, especially the face and back of the neck. Reapply according to the directions, particularly if you are sweating.
Many people take driving vacations and weekend getaways during summer, so roads are filled with more motorists and motorcyclists than usual. Because more traffic typically means an increased number of accidents, it pays to use extra caution during this season.
Summer includes three of the deadliest holidays of the year for drivers and motorcyclists: Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day. During these longer weekends, traffic increases, along with the number of drunk drivers (and motorcyclists) traversing Michigan roadways.
Bright sunlight can literally be blinding, making it difficult to see the road and surrounding traffic. Wearing goggles or sunglasses with 100% UVA/UVB protection will help bikers avoid this hazard while shielding the eyes from dangerous rays.
Lack of protective clothing and gear:
When the heat rises, some bikers opt for light clothing instead of heavier protective clothing. While it may be tempting, foregoing the helmet, leather jacket, long pants, boots and other gear could have deadly consequences in the event of an accident.
More distracted drivers:
Many families take road trips during summer, which can mean more distractions for drivers traveling with children or navigating unfamiliar roads. Riding defensively and staying alert can help avoid encounters with inattentive motorists.
Recommended reading: A Guide to the Michigan Laws for Motorcycle Passengers
Yes. Motorcycle accident law is extremely complex, especially when an automobile is involved and No-Fault benefits may apply. It takes an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who specializes in these complicated claims to win the compensation every victim deserves.
That’s the Bernstein Biker Advantage®.
Recommended reading: Michigan Motorcycle Helmet Laws
These simple suggestions can help motorcyclists reduce the risk of summer accidents:
Inspect your bike when it comes out of storage and before every long trip:
Michigan seems to go from winter frost to summer heat without much springtime in between. Consequently, many bikers wait until the warm weather is here to stay before they start biking in earnest. Before your first ride of the season, check your lights, brakes, tires, fluids, chain and suspension system to make sure all components are in good condition.
Wear protective riding gear even in hot weather:
It may be tempting to skip the helmet and wear shorts and a t-shirt when the temperature rises, but a helmet, boots, long sleeves and other protective clothing can reduce the risk of serious injury if you are in a crash. If the heat is too much, postpone your ride until it cools down, but never forego safety for comfort.
Check the weather forecast before and during every ride:
Summer weather can be unpredictable. Because a sudden storm can interrupt a sunny day without much warning, check the forecast for your current location and intended destination(s) before heading out and throughout the day or evening.
Avoid riding in hazardous weather:
Biking in bad weather should be avoided in any season, and summer is no exception. When a rainstorm is predicted, postpone your ride or choose a different destination. If you encounter a storm during a ride, pull off the road and wait until it subsides or find a place to stop for the night.
Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs:
This should be a hard and fast rule for automobile drivers and motorcyclists throughout the year. Bikers need to remain alert to sudden changes in traffic or unexpected moves from other drivers. Drugs and alcohol can impair judgment and slow reaction time, which can be deadly to a motorcyclist.
Recommended reading: 12 Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Many of our lawyers and staff members are motorcyclists, so we understand first-hand the pleasures and the challenges of riding. Because we know how devastating a crash can be, we take every case personally. Combining our personal experience with our expertise in motorcycle accident law enables us to win the compensation you and your family deserve.
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