A Few of the Unwritten Rules of Riding
Assume Every Car or Truck on the Road Is an Accident Waiting to Happen
Every motorist, regardless of their vehicle, is well served by driving defensively. Motorcyclists should take defensive driving up a notch and essentially ride as if they’re invisible.
Car, truck and SUV drivers regularly cut motorcyclists off, drift into their lane or even tailgate riders as if they have little to no regard for rider safety. Assuming you’re invisible to drivers puts you in an avoidance-mode mindset. You can’t rely on other drivers to keep you safe – you have to be the responsible one.
Bugs and Small Debris Are Projectiles
If you’re riding at 70 mph and a bee is flying towards you at 15 mph, you’re essentially catching an 85-mph gooey projectile with your face.
If you are wearing a visor or have a windshield, chances are bugs won’t be especially painful, but they can be startling.
The same rule applies to pebbles or other debris that may be thrown up by the wheels of vehicles in front of you.
Don’t Touch Other Riders’ Bikes
This rule generally doesn’t need to be explained to existing bike owners, but you should always ask a bike’s owner before touching it. You certainly shouldn’t sit on someone else’s motorcycle without asking permission.
Asking to ride someone else’s bike is also considered uncouth in most riding circles. It is best to wait for an invitation.
When Parking Next to Other Bikes, Leave Enough Room
If you are going to be parking next to other motorcycles, be cognizant of how much space other riders will need to safely mount up or get off.
Watch Out for Road Gators, Potholes and Debris
Motorists of all types should ideally avoid hitting planks of wood, sheet metal or chunks of blown tire rubber (road gators). Road debris can damage any vehicle, but they can be catastrophic for riders.
Always be cognizant of what’s in front of you and point hazards out to fellow riders if you’re in a group.
You should also keep an eye out for those thick metal plates cities sometimes use to cover road construction. Hitting those heavy plates, or some manhole covers, can be really jarring and even dangerous for riders and their passengers.
Watch Out for Certain Surfaces
Substances on the roadway such as gravel, dirt, sand, leaves and grass can significantly hamper your ability to control your bike, especially if the roads are wet. Always keep an eye out for anything in the road that affects traction. “Tar snakes” or patched cracks in asphalt, can also be trouble for riders. These snakes tend to “grab” the front wheel when you go over them, which can compromise your steering ability.
Have You Been Involved in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another motorist on the road in Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina or Georgia, the Motorcycle Law Group is here for you.
Our attorneys are riders, so we understand the unique struggles that face motorcyclists and know how to explain riding to judges and juries.