The summer is long gone in the rear view mirror and we are fully into autumn now. Riders enjoy the gorgeous changing of the leaves on autumn rides, but something else changed. The sun is setting very early and darkness approaches much more quickly. Some riders prefer to ignore this early darkness, but it is important to consider how the fall changes the way we ride. We want our readers to consider some the hazards for motorcycle crashes that the changing weather, temperatures and light bring to the joy of riding.
One of the most beautiful aspects of fall riding are the changing of the leaves. The problem is, these leaves end up falling on the road and can cause many hazards. Not only can they hide defects in the road, but they also make a slippery surface. So as we ride through the changing colors, it is important to pay attention to where the leaves are and be more careful around them. Because the days are getting shorter, make sure that your bike lights are in great working order. And don’t forget to wear reflective gear so that caged drivers can see you more readily. Even the sunlight changes at this time of year and since the sun is lower in the sky, it can cause more distracting glare.
Statistically, this time of year we see more collisions between deer and vehicles of all kinds as deer migration is in full swing. These collisions can harm riders and deer. Changes in animal migrations have made these accidents more prevalent. For example, suburban residents are seeing an increase in deer populations as American suburbs move out into areas in which deer are prevalent. Riders will notice that this time of year, deer are on the move. As most riders know or have seen, deer can come out from wooded areas with no warning and jump in front of vehicles. For those on bikes, especially on rural roads, this can be a very difficult challenge
Every year, deer and vehicles collide causing injury and worse. Literally thousands of accidents occur every year, particularly in October and November. For example, in New York state they reach about ten percent of all collisions in the state. As deer move looking for food, our bike and car headlights seem to stun them. They can freeze just seeing headlights and stop in our paths.
One of the key points to take away from these statistics is to slow down. Authorities warn that if vehicles of all kinds do not slow down, they might end up being unable to stop in time for what we see. This is called “overdriving your headlight.” Deer are most active between 6 and 9 p.m. in the evening so be aware of this as you ride. Using high beams will help on rural roads. Remember that once you see one deer, there are likely more following behind so slow down. It is also important to try to avoid swerving if you see a deer in the road. Keeping your speed in check will help you to safely maneuver around a deer that is frozen by your headlights.
Scholle Law hopes all riders enjoy their fall rides. If you are in need of guidance after a motorcycle accident, please contact our law firm. We are here to talk you through your options at no cost to you. In most cases, we do not get paid until you get paid.