Spring is motorcycle season, and you just got your bike out for the year. You rolled it out into the driveway. You dusted it off. You tried on your helmet and made sure your riding jacket still fit. It's safe to say that you're excited to get back out on the open road.
That excitement is good, but you need to make sure you take a moment to think about the risks. Often, those risks are highest in the spring because they stem from mistakes other drivers make. After an Ohio winter, drivers forget what it's like to drive around bikes, they fail to look for them, and they make more mistakes that can lead to accidents.
With that in mind, here are a few risks to be aware of this year:
- Loose gravel and potholes. The roads are not always in the best condition in the spring. Snow and ice take their toll. Work crews have to pause their work and wait for it to warm up. When you first get out, make sure you pay careful attention to these hazards while riding. They're a minor annoyance for drivers in cars, but they can cause a motorcycle crash.
- Drivers turning left. Few things are as dangerous to a motorcycle rider as a car that has stopped and is waiting to make a left turn. That driver has to wait for oncoming traffic to clear. Did they actually see your bike? Or are they about to turn right in front of you, with no idea that you're coming? If they do, it can be all but impossible to avoid the crash.
- Intersections. Similarly, intersections pose a huge risk. You have drivers turning left, just as they would on a two-lane road. You also have drivers who may turn right in front of you at a two-way stop where you don't have to stop -- but they don't see you. On top of that, there's always the risk that someone will run the stop sign while you proceed through legally.
- Tailgaters. If it feels like that car behind you is just too close, it probably is. You may want to let them pass. It's incredibly dangerous for someone to tailgate a bike. If you have to stop quickly and get hit from behind, you could get seriously injured or killed.
- People who merge, especially without turn signals. Drivers are so bad at checking their blind spots that they merge into other cars frequently. It's just worse with a small motorcycle. Someone may change lanes right into the lane you're already driving in.
If you do get involved in an accident this spring or summer in Ohio, make sure you know how to seek financial compensation.