Warmer weather changes the way that people travel. Some people trade out their snow tires for summer wheels, and many people will trade in their SUVs or cars for a motorcycle. Minnesota has thousands of registered motorcycles on the road, and motorcycle riders enjoy not just efficient, cost-effective transportation but also numerous socialization opportunities throughout the warmer months.
Getting a bike out of storage or the season is an exciting transition for a motorcycle rider. Before hitting the road for the first time each season, however, riders would typically benefit from reviewing their biggest risks on the summer roads.
1. Alcohol is a major safety concern
It only takes a few drinks for the alcohol someone consumes to start altering their safety at the wheel. Those in bigger vehicles have protection if they end up in a crash related to their alcohol consumption. The same is not true for those on motorcycles.
Alcohol impairment is a major safety concern for someone in control of a motorcycle, as is the increased presence of drunk drivers on the roads in the summer. Statistically, more drunk driving collisions happen during the summer than in any other season.
2. Distraction endangers everybody on the road
Most motorcycle riders don’t let distraction take their mind off the ride. They respect the risk inherent in their chosen form of transportation and keep their full focus on the operation of their motorcycle. However, those in larger vehicles often let distraction impair their driving ability. Distracted drivers are more likely to make a mistake, like failing to fully stop at an intersection or check for other vehicles, making them a major safety concern for anyone on a motorcycle.
3. Speed worsens the crashes that occur
Higher speeds mean more violent collisions. The feeling of the wind rushing past someone on a motorcycle may inspire them to increase their speed even more. The thrill involved in riding a motorcycle can lead to people making poor choices while chasing that sense of exhilaration.
Higher speeds increase the likelihood of someone losing control or being unable to stop in time when there is some kind of obstacle in the road. Higher-speed crashes tend to cause far worse injury to the riders involved.
Making sure that a motorcycle is in good condition and adjusting practices to reduce the most common motorcycle crash risk can benefit those ready for a summer ride and eager to keep themselves safe on Minnesota roads.