Posted on Jun 04, 2020

Summer Riding Hazards and How to Avoid Them

Summer is without a doubt one of the best times to take your bike out for a ride. With warmer temperatures, many riders across the country look to take to the roads to enjoy the beautiful weather from behind their handlebars. However, riders would be wise to understand that with summer comes certain risk factors that are not as prevalent in other seasons, and know how to best navigate them.

The next time you get out on your bike this summer, keep the following hazards in mind:

  • Drunk drivers: Driving under the influence is a major issue in any season, but especially in summer. With more people looking to get together with friends and enjoying some drinks – especially now considering COVID restrictions are slowly being lifted across the country – drunk driving can happen a lot more regularly. Being a rider is risky enough with all the distracted drivers on the road, but it is important to be extra vigilant for drunk drivers during the coming months and take the necessary precautions to avoid them.
     
  • Motorcycle theft: Motorcycle theft is at its height during summer as well. Be sure to always properly store your motorcycle when you are not using it. If you are unsure of how best to prevent your ride from being stolen, be sure to check out our article breaking down the many different ways you can ensure your bike stays put.
     
  • Rain riding: While rain can be an issue for riders in any season, the fact that rainfalls occur less frequently during the summer months actually makes them more of a hazard. When it first begins raining, debris and oil lift from the roadway surface and can form a slick film for around 30 minutes until being washed away. The longer it has been since it has rained, the more oil and debris will be on the roadway surface. So be sure to take extra care while riding, if it starts to rain.
     
  • Heat exhaustion: It should go without saying that summer is an especially risky time due to the threat of heat exhaustion. It is easy for the symptoms to go unnoticed while you are riding, so it is important to know what to look for. Common symptoms include fatigue, headache, clamminess, dizziness, and nausea. Check out our article for the best ways to beat the heat while riding.
     
  • Tar snakes: “Tar snakes” come from the black tar-based filler used on roadways to temporarily repair cracks. The black lines formed by the filler creates winding black lines across the road that can become soft, slick or bumpy depending on the weather, which can significantly upset your suspension and tire grip on the road. Do your best to avoid riding directly over these and if you cannot entirely avoid them, ride carefully and be prepared to make necessary adjustments to maintain traction.

As a rider, it is important to make good choices every time you swing your leg over the seat of your motorcycle. Unfortunately, due to inconsistent road conditions, distracted drivers, and various other factors, motorcyclists must always be on the defensive and take the necessary steps to ensure their own safety. Following the above tips will certainly be a good start in making sure you make it back safely from your next summer ride.

For more articles and news for motorcycle enthusiasts, check out the Current News for Riders page on hupy.com.

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham