Here are some safe riding tips to keep in mind for every motorcycle rider this fall season:
- Always be weather ready - in particular if you are going for a longer ride, have wet weather gear including a helmet shield or goggles and a rain suit. You should also be ready for cold too if you’re riding early in the day or later into the evening. The autumn weather fluctuates drastically from daytime highs to early morning and evening lows. In the cold, your muscles stiffen, which can slow your reaction time and make handling the motorcycle more difficult and more dangerous.
- If the day is warm and sunny, that doesn’t mean you should drop all of your protective gear. Unlike driving a vehicle, there is nothing much between you and the road, so even a small accident or spill can cause serious injury if you’re not properly equipped with pads, jacket and pants.
- Double check the tread on your tires. You need more traction than ever in the autumn months with variable weather conditions. A worn out tire can result in loss of traction or worse, a tire blowout.
- If you are riding in the rain, slow it down and leave more space around you to account for vehicles that also take longer to stop in the rain. Taking a corner too fast is a bad idea when the roads are dry, never mind when they are slippery and wet as hydroplaning is possible.
- Be prepared to pull over. Whether at a rest stop or under an overpass, heavy rain and cross winds that can blow you sideways can definitely make riding more dangerous.
- Early mornings in the autumn can also mean frost or even black ice on some roads so you must remain mindful of that. Unless you have a lot of experience, avoid unpaved roads that could have mud, ice patches and other hazards.
- Wear motorcycle gear. Motorcycle gear protects you from the elements, debris and road rash. Appropriate gear includes a DOT-approved helmet, goggles, leather jacket, leather pants or chaps, over the ankle boots and non-slip gloves. Dress in layers to adjust to any changing weather throughout the day.
- Inspect your motorcycle before each ride. It’s a good idea to inspect your bike before you ride to ensure it is as safe as possible. Check your headlights, taillights, turn signals, brakes, fuel, oil, tire pressure, mirrors, handlebars and horn.
- Stay at a safe distance. Tailgating is not safe. It is good to have an escape route in mind such as moving to the shoulder should you not be able to stop in time.
- Never ride tired – know your limits and ride with people you trust. Set your rule. Stop. Stretch
- Riders must always avoid other drivers’ blind spots. Drive with your headlights on even during the day, wear reflective or bright clothing and always use your turn signals and hand signals.
As Ontario motorcycle accident lawyers, we are often contacted by riders that have been involved in a motorcycle crash. If you are involved in an accident while riding a motorcycle here are four important steps to keep in mind.
- Call first responders. Short of a very mild bump or scrape, there’s a good chance that there will be some sort of injury. Let the first responders check you over, on site or at the hospital. Some injuries aren’t apparent right away, as your adrenaline will be high.
- If you were in a collision with another vehicle, call the police to make a report. If you can, or if someone can do it for you, get pictures of the scene and the damage to your bike, and the other vehicle. It’s much easier to describe what happened if you have visuals.
- See your doctor preferably the same or next day. You could have an injury that hasn’t manifested yet, so you will want to make sure that your condition is being documented.
- Call a personal injury lawyer. It is important to have the advice of an experienced Ontario Motorcycle Lawyer before you speak with or provide statements to your insurance company. If your insurance company is requesting a statement, you need to seek legal advice first. The sooner they are on the case, the sooner they can make sure that your file is properly documented.
There is nothing like a ride through back country roads in the beautiful scenery that autumn has to offer. Please ride with courtesy, care and awareness as we want you to enjoy every minute of riding and to go home to your family safely.
If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, our Ontario Motorcycle Accident Lawyers have extensive experience representing families who have been injured and we realize how difficult and life-changing it can be for you and your family. We are a dedicated Ontario Personal Injury Law Firm that provides compassionate and competent legal counsel for the injured and we offer a FREE Consultation so please feel free to call us at 1-866-234-6093. We are honored to serve our clients and our community.
Andrew Iacobelli is an experienced personal injury lawyer who established Iacobelli Law Firm with offices located in Ontario, Canada as well as offices in Florida, U.S.A. Andrew restricts his practice to the representation of personal injury victims in claims involving serious injuries and wrongful death.