There’s nothing like the feeling of freedom that comes with riding a motorcycle. As we enter the fall season, it’s even more fun to ride through winding back roads and experience the beauty of the changing colors. However, there are several safety precautions motorcyclists need to keep in mind when riding during the cooler months. Let’s take a look.
Wear a Helmet
First and foremost, we recommend every motorcyclist wear a helmet. It’s the single most important thing you can do to improve your level of safety on a bike. In August 2020, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed a law giving riders age 26 and older the option to not wear a helmet as long as they have medical insurance. Although we respect everyone’s right to choose, we have seen severe injuries and deaths that could have been prevented if the motorcyclist had worn a helmet. Please, for your own safety, wear a helmet on your next ride.
Wear Protective Clothing
Fall is a season of rapidly changing temperatures, so you’ll need to prepare for everything when dressing for the day. Wearing layers is a great way to stay warm during the cool mornings and comfortable during the warm afternoons. Leather jackets make a great outer layer, and thermal long-sleeve shirts are an easy choice to wear underneath them. You should also consider packing a set of insulated gloves to keep your hands warm.
Check Your Lights and Brakes
The days are getting shorter, which means your bike’s lights will need to come on earlier. Take this time to check if any of your headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn lights need replacing. Bright lights will help other motorists spot you from a distance and exercise the proper caution. Fall is also a season for wet and icy roads, so be sure to get your brakes checked or replaced during the next few weeks.
Look Out for Leaves
The fall trees make for beautiful scenery while riding, but their leaves can wreak havoc on the road. Fallen leaves may cover obstacles in the road, like potholes or large branches. Driving over these without slowing down could result in a flat tire or motorcycle accident. Wet leaves are even more hazardous and can make any road feel as slippery as an icy bridge. When in doubt, slow down and use caution on wet roads.
Keep an Eye Out for Animals
Animals are one of the most common causes for motorcycle accidents and two of the biggest culprits, deer and elk, are very active in the fall. If you’re riding in a rural, wooded area, you should stay especially vigilant for any animals that may come sprinting across the road. As long as there are no oncoming motorists, keep your high-beams on and be ready for defensive maneuvering if an animal crosses your path.
Trust Us to Step Up
Motorcycles are a fun, freeing way to get around the country, but they do come with more risks than automobiles. Even if you take every safety precaution above, you could become an unfortunate victim of someone else’s negligence on the road. Should that ever happen, know that you’ll have the entire Casey Devoti & Brockland legal team behind you. Happy riding!