You know your bike like you built it yourself, and you’ve been riding long enough that you’re confident in your ability to ride safely. So when the Michigan summer sun rises and the heat turns up, you want to hit the road and enjoy a beautiful day on your motorcycle.
Unfortunately, summer motorcycle safety is also a real concern. Motorcycle accidents are actually more common in the summer—in fact, there are more fatal motor vehicle accidents in July, August, and October than any other time of year.
Why is summer more dangerous for bikers than the rest of the year? How can you keep yourself safe? And if you are caught in an accident, what can you do to get back on your feet? Here’s what motorcycle riders need to know.
Why are the summer roads more dangerous? There are several reasons why this happens.
For one thing, more people tend to be on the road in the summer. School is out, which means more teens are on the road during the day in the summer than any other time of year. In general, there are more drivers on the road in the summertime thanks to the good weather and the opportunity for day trips or outdoor activities in the summer sunshine.
Think of your friends who go up north to spend a weekend on the lake. Now multiply that by the number of people in Michigan doing the exact same thing.
That said, more drivers on the road does not mean that drivers are being more diligent. This is especially true for drivers in respect to bikers.
As a motorcyclist, you deserve just as much respect on the road as anyone else. Sadly, many drivers don’t give it to you. For one thing, many drivers are not used to looking for motorcycles, and because a motorcycle is much smaller than a car, it’s easier for a driver to overlook it.
Then there’s the unfortunate fact that many people—drivers, police officers, insurance carriers, even your peers—often have negative perceptions of motorcycle riders. Many people believe motorcycles are more dangerous than cars, and for this reason they put the impetus for safety on the motorcyclist despite the fact that a car has a far greater chance of inflicting fatal damage on a motorcyclist than the other way around.
Regardless of vehicle type, drivers are not implicitly more diligent on the road when there are more drivers. They are more impatient, though, and that can be dangerous for motorcycle riders.
While you can’t account for every reckless driver on the road, there are certain safety precautions you can take to reduce the risk of a dangerous accident.
First, you should always wear the appropriate protective apparel anytime you ride, regardless of the summer heat. This includes:
Ideally, you should wear leather. The choice isn’t purely aesthetic—if you get in an accident and skid out, leather is slick and can help you slide across the pavement. At high speeds, the pavement will cut through most other materials like butter.
Second, you should always be diligent about following traffic laws. That means no lane-splitting (which is illegal in the state of Michigan anyway). Unsafe riding makes it harder for a car to see you, which increases the risk of an accident.
Finally, you should always ride your bike on high alert, engaging in defensive driving practices just like you would use in your car. You should always anticipate that cars cannot see you and plan accordingly—that way, if a driver can’t see you, you won’t be caught off guard.
Sadly, sometimes the best summer motorcycle safety practices can be ruined in an instant by one careless driver. And negative biases against bikers often mean that others will judge you negatively after an accident, regardless of whether or not the accident was your fault. In the meantime, you’re trying to recover from the physical and emotional trauma of an accident.
Our team of expert motorcycle accident attorneys know that accidents are often stacked against bikers, and we fight twice as hard to ensure your voice is heard. Our firm is built on a foundation of diligence, hard work, honesty, attention to detail, and most of all, care. All of our attorneys treat their clients with the same care we would give to a loved one, because we know that’s the kind of care you need when you’re trying to reclaim your life.
If you were involved in an accident and need to speak with an attorney about your options, click here to schedule your free consultation.
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