The season of autumn brings with it shorter days and more temperate weather that makes for enjoyable motorcycle rides. While the temperature has cooled down a bit and heat is less of an issue, there are still many factors of which to be aware. It’s true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and each of these strategies will pay great dividends in the long run. By keeping these items top of mind, you will be well-equipped to safely enjoy the brisk autumn riding days.
Keep Your Motorcycle Maintained
A motorcycle is a complex machine with many moving parts, some of which may wear out and need to be replaced. Even with regular visual inspection by the owner, a motorcycle will still benefit from periodic care by a professional mechanic. They will know what potential issues to look for and how to prevent them from becoming dangerous. Since they see so many motorcycles, things will be obvious to them that may not be obvious to the rider. This includes major areas such as tires, brakes, and lights.
Adjust for Sun Glare
When Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends, the extra hour we get comes with a drawback, which is that our rhythms and habits are thrown off autopilot. Commutes that were previously dark may now be light and vice versa. It’s critical to stay aware of the location of the sun in the sky and how sun glare may affect you or the drivers around you. Consider a tinted helmet visor if your morning or evening commute has you predominately looking into the sun.
Stay Weather Aware
The cooler temperatures may also bring other weather changes, such as rain and the opportunity for wintry precipitation. There may be snow or ice on the road at times, both of which are a particular challenge for vehicles with only two wheels. Planning ahead will keep you from being surprised by extreme weather and will allow you to make decisions like choosing when to drive a car on certain days instead of riding your motorcycle.
Dress for the Day
Staying on top of the weather will allow you to choose which days to dress lighter and which days to make sure you have layers or warmer clothes. Autumn riding involves potential weather-related risks such as hypothermia. Even in less extreme weather, the cold can cause discomfort or shivering that can both be a distraction and make the rider less aware of their surroundings and road conditions.
Wear Bright Visible Clothing
The shorter days mean that the drivers in the vehicles around you are also adjusting to the new lighting conditions. While you and your motorcycle may have been highly visible in the summer, this may no longer be the case in autumn. For example, if your motorcycle clothing is dark, you may barely be visible when surrounded by other dark elements during the morning and evening. By wearing bright clothes, especially a jacket and helmet, since these are most visible to vehicles, you will ensure the greatest visibility and safety for yourself.
Riding proactively on a motorcycle is the best way to give yourself as much space and reaction time as you can. While many hazards are unexpected, you can begin with the assumption that something may happen and stay alert for changing road conditions. Leaving extra space between yourself and the vehicles in front of you is a great way to make sure you see everything in your path and have enough time to react. In autumn, hazards may include leaves, which, when wet, can result in a situation where the road is much more slippery than normal.
Stay Aware of Your Mental State
Autumn brings with it challenging aspects such as the approaching holiday season, which is statistically a stressful time of year for most people. Other considerations include Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which may result from the reduced amount of sunlight we get each day in autumn. Both stress and mild symptoms of depression may have a negative effect on a rider’s abilities and awareness. Specifically, a rider may be less aware of roadway conditions and other vehicles around them.
If you or someone you know has suffered a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, you need an attorney who is experienced in handling motorcycle crash cases. You may be facing a stack of growing medical bills as well as the physical and emotional impacts from the injury itself. Call CHASENBOSCOLO today at (301) 220-0050 to speak with a Virginia motorcycle accident attorney. We have helped many clients in similar situations, and we will do the same for you. We will help put your mind at ease and work to help you get the money you deserve so you can move on from this challenging time.