Summer brings joy and excitement to motorcycle enthusiasts as they hit the open road, enjoying the freedom and exhilaration that riding provides. However, the warm weather months also present unique risks for motorcyclists. With increased traffic, changing road conditions, and a rise in recreational activities, it’s crucial for riders to be aware of the specific hazards they may encounter during summertime adventures. It is important for not only motorcyclists, but other vehicle operators, to take extra caution this summer when deciding to go for a drive. Motorcyclists are subject to more severe injuries than other drivers, as they are not offered the same protection by their vehicle.
What challenges will motorcyclists face this summer?
Just as winter presents driving issues (icy roads, snow drifts, etc), summer has its own unique risks to consider. MoneyGeek recently released a forecast highlighting the most perilous days of the year for DUI incidents, and it appears that several summer days have garnered attention. In their analysis, they found that “Summer will account for 28% of drunk driving-related fatalities, making it the deadliest season.” According to their projections, Independence Day, specifically July 4, is anticipated to be the most lethal day of the year, with an estimated 311 deaths attributed to drunk driving. Additionally, they emphasize that “60% of drunk driving-related fatalities occur on weekends, spanning from Friday through Sunday.”
Among the notable holidays, Memorial Day ranks as the fifth most hazardous in terms of drunk driving incidents, while Labor Day secures the fourth spot, further compounded by its status as the second deadliest weekend. These statistics underscore the importance of raising awareness about the risks associated with drunk driving during these summer holidays.
Summertime driving risks for motorcyclists include:
- Increased traffic. One of the significant risks for motorcycle riders during the summer is the surge in traffic. As warmer weather encourages more people to travel and engage in outdoor activities, roads become congested, leading to a higher likelihood of accidents. Motorcyclists must exercise extra caution, remain vigilant, and anticipate the actions of other drivers to avoid collisions. Staying visible, using proper signaling, and maintaining a safe distance from vehicles are crucial defensive riding techniques.
- Road construction. Summer is prime time for road construction projects, which can create hazardous conditions for motorcyclists. Uneven surfaces, loose gravel, and unexpected lane closures can catch riders off guard and compromise their stability. It’s essential to stay informed about ongoing roadwork, adhere to posted signs and speed limits, and adjust riding techniques to accommodate changing road conditions. Slowing down and being prepared for sudden changes can also significantly reduce the risk of accidents in construction zones.
- Impaired drivers. The summer season brings forth numerous events, parties, and celebrations. Unfortunately, this also means a higher likelihood of encountering impaired drivers on the road. Alcohol consumption, drug use, and distracted driving can impair judgment, reaction times, and overall driving abilities. Motorcyclists should remain alert and cautious, particularly during weekends, holidays, and evenings when the risk of encountering impaired drivers increases. Always ride defensively and be prepared to react to erratic behavior from other motorists.
- Inclement weather. While summer is generally associated with clear skies and pleasant weather, sudden storms can pose a significant risk to motorcycle riders. Rain showers, thunderstorms, and high winds can create slippery road surfaces, reduced visibility, and challenging riding conditions. It’s crucial to monitor weather forecasts before heading out and be prepared with appropriate riding gear, including rain gear and helmets with visors. Riding at a controlled speed and increasing following distances can help maintain stability and minimize the chance of accidents during adverse weather conditions.
- Wildlife encounters. Summertime brings wildlife out of hibernation, increasing the risk of encounters between motorcyclists and animals. Rural areas, mountainous regions, and national parks often see a rise in wildlife activity during this season. Riders should remain alert for animals crossing the road, especially during dawn and dusk when visibility is reduced. Slowing down and scanning the surroundings can provide valuable reaction time to avoid collisions with wildlife, reducing the risk of serious injuries.
- Inexperienced riders. The summer months see an influx of new riders who are eager to explore the open road. Inexperience can lead to poor judgment, improper maneuvering, and a lack of understanding of the rules of the road. Both new and seasoned riders must prioritize safety education and training. Proper motorcycle licensing, enrollment in rider safety courses, and continuous skill development can enhance riding abilities and promote safe practices. Additionally, experienced riders should lead by example, offering guidance and sharing knowledge to promote a safer riding culture.
How can a Columbus motorcycle accident attorney help me?
When you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, hiring an attorney can be highly beneficial. At Soroka & Associates, we provide essential legal guidance and representation throughout the process, ensuring your rights are protected. Our attorneys know how to investigate the accident, gather evidence, and determine liability. We use our experience and knowledge to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and calculate the full extent of your damages. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, we are prepared to represent you in court, presenting a strong case and advocating for your rights.
By hiring an attorney, you can alleviate the complexities of the legal process, focus on your recovery, and increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation for your injuries and losses. If this is the case for you, call us or use our contact page to schedule a free consultation. Our Columbus motorcycle accident lawyers serve clients throughout Central Ohio.