We in Pennsylvania know that spring and summer are two of the most enjoyable seasons for motorcycle riders. Spring is especially anticipated, with motorcyclists who have been champing at the bit all winter for some wind therapy on the open road.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that motorcyclists constantly face great hazards up against larger motor vehicles and commercial trucks. Many drivers in other vehicles fail to properly check their blind spots and safely share the roads with motorcycles. It’s just this sort of “motorcycle blindness” that can injure or kill riders. Below are some other spring riding safety tips to keep in mind.
Potholes and subsidence
There’s nothing like a Pittsburgh winter to reveal more potholes on your daily route. When water periodically contracts and expands during the freezing winter, it creates craters in the streets that can really tear up your vehicle. But for motorcyclists, potholes are not just a nuisance – they can be deadly.
Then, too, you must consider the problem of subsidence. Erosion is a major problem on streets and roads in and around Pittsburgh. Narrow roads atop hillsides can literally crumble underneath and leave riders and motorists perched precariously on the edge.
Leftover salt, sand and gravel on highways
During the winter months, these useful substances provided drivers with much-needed traction on slick roads. But now, in spring, they pose all sorts of hazards to bikers who can’t avoid them.
Wildlife and domestic animals
Spring is the time when young animals head out to search for food. These newly born babes have no street smarts and can dash right into traffic. Same for domesticated dogs and cats who may be enjoying a sunny day out of the house and off the leash. Sadly, pet owners who let their animals roam are doing them no favors if they cause an accident and wind up killed.
As always, watch out for other vehicles
Even by May or June, drivers in larger vehicles may still be getting used to sharing the roads with motorcyclists again. Motorcyclists can do their part by wearing bright clothing, using reflective gear and positioning themselves on roads where they are clearly visible by other drivers.
Hazards abound, but you can still enjoy a spring ride
There’s nothing like cruising along a country road on your two-wheeler to blow the fuzz of winter out of your mind. Bikers who are proactive about safety can enjoy these first spring and summer rides. If you wind up injured in a motorcycle accident here in Pittsburgh, you may have the right to seek financial compensation from any liable parties.