Dangers of Riding a Motorcycle in Michigan in the Fall
With the change of seasons leading us to fall, motorcycle riders have new challenges awaiting them. Summer, with its long days and warm weather, make it hard for motorcyclists to shift into fall. Fall is characterized by trees shedding leaves, shorter days, deer mating & migrating fog, and mist in the morning and evening. With all these in mind, let’s take a look at the dangers that face motorcyclists in autumn. A Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer at Moss & Colella can help you file a Michigan motorcycle insurance claim.
Leaves on the road
As mentioned above, most trees shed their leaves in autumn and this means that the roads will be covered with leaves. This might be a beautiful sight, but it also spells danger for motorcyclists. Dry leaves can cover up potholes which can be dangerous for a rider driving at high speeds. They can also cover up speed bumps and other road irregularities and this means that riders have to be cautious when riding during autumn. Additionally, autumn may experience showers which lead to wet leaves. These tend to be slippery and are not easy to spot, especially in the shade.
Shifting from summer, most riders were accustomed to having many hours on their hands to spend riding. However, with fall, riders have to deal with less daylight. In most cases, they will be cloaked with darkness while still on the roads. In this case, riders have to make sure that the bulbs on their headlights are functional to help when darkness comes calling. They also have to ensure that their brake lights are working and their turn signals are not only functional but visible as well. Motorcyclists also have to don gear that’s visible in the dark and made of reflective material so as to be seen by drivers.
With the sun being lower in its position in the sky, glare is going to be an issue with riders during the day, unless they are headed north. Sun glare can affect the rider’s vision and this may make it difficult to see traffic and pedestrians. When the sun is setting behind the rider, it may be difficult to use the side mirrors as the rays of the sun reflect on them, blinding them in the process. All of these may affect the rider’s judgment and reaction time.
Moreover, since the trees have few leaves, there is bound to be random patterns of shade and light and this can be a hazard when riding as it is quite distracting. A Detroit motorcycle accident lawyer at our firm can help guide you through filing a claim and understanding Michigan motorcycle statute of limitations.
Autumn is mating and migration season for the deer with Michigan being no different. For that reason, the roads are likely to be filled with more deer. This means that riders are more likely to collide with deer during this time. For that reason, riders have to be wary of deer, especially at night. Also, the roads might have carcasses of deer which have already been hit by other drivers, which at night can be a hazard as riders try to swerve to avoid running them over.
For riders whose bikes sport touring tires, this shouldn’t be a problem. This is because these tires are made for riding in cold weather due to their hard rubber compound. However, for bikes with sporty tires, autumn is a dangerous season to be riding. This is because these tires tend to have softer rubber. In the summer, due to the hot weather, they grip the road better and this gives them traction. However, in autumn, they will be hard and this will reduce their traction.
Riding in the cold
Riding in the cold can be fatiguing and this can lead to impairment similar to riding after a moderate alcohol intake. Even though the rider is dressed in proper gear which keeps them warm, the ambient temperature will still have its effect on them. This manifests when you lose the sense of riding, especially when covering long distances. The rider is also not aware of how tired he or she may be. To counter this, ensure that you are hydrated and that you stop often when traveling over long distances.
Road surface covered with ice
With a drop in temperatures, frosty mornings may lead to pavements having a layer of ice on them. This can lead to a loss in traction. In the evening, riders have to be cautious of shaded regions and crossing bridges as these tend to ice up quite fast. Also, if you are riding over high altitude areas, be wary of changing conditions.
All in all, riding in the fall is a great experience, especially the clear and crisp air and fall colors. With fewer leaves on trees, this means better visibility of the terrain that was initially covered by trees.