April is the cruelest month, wrote T.S. Eliot. And don’t motorcycle enthusiasts know it.
Some days it seems that spring has arrived. Other days winter’s icy grip returns. But the fact is that motorcycle riding weather is, excuse the pun, right around the corner.
Top 3 ways to stay safe on the roads
“Inattentional blindness” is the number one threat to motorcycle riders. Researchers have found that drivers are not expecting motorcycles and therefore do not see them, even when the motorcycle is obvious. This is known as “Looked but Failed to See” (LBFTS).
While you can’t control what other drivers do or the road conditions, you can take steps to keep yourself safe. The top three things you can do are:
- Wear bright, protective gear including a helmet and gloves
- Make sure your bike gets regular maintenance, including tires
- Allow tailgaters to pass. Practice defensive driving.
You should also be aware of the seasonal hazards that may be present now that spring has sprung.
Hazards that happen more often in the spring
In the spring, thawing snow and ice can suddenly cause or reveal potholes and deep pavement cracks. Once the ice and snow are gone residual sand and gravel from the winter and can make it difficult to stop and easier to drop.
Drivers also change their habits. They are more likely to open their windows, stick out an arm or even toss things from their car once the weather warms up.
Spring storms that bring strong winds and heavy rains can mean branches, water and other debris on the roads. Anticipate that some areas, especially places that get heavy snow or are near hills or mountains, may have flooding.
Thinking of getting out your cycle? Consider a refresher course. The New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles has an extensive rider training programs for beginners, intermediate and advanced riders. Spring safety on our roads is a win-win.