Motorcyclists face significant risks on the roadway, often due to the careless or negligent actions of other drivers. However, motorcycle riders and passengers also have to be aware of specific hazards on the road itself. Here, we want to review the most common roadway hazard that motorcyclists in California need to be on the lookout for.
Motorcycles only have two wheels, and this significantly increases the chance that a crash will occur when there are loose objects on the roadway. It does not take much to cause one tire to spin out of control. Some of the most common types of road debris that motorcyclists need to be aware of include loose gravel or sandy surfaces. Additionally, oil, water, snow, sleet, or ice can all lead to significantly dangerous situations for a motorcyclist.
If you are operating your motorcycle and see one of these dangerous types of situations coming up, try and find a way around the hazard or significantly reduce your speed and proceed forward slowly.
All larger vehicles on the roadway have blind spots. This is particularly true for SUVs and pickup trucks, but even smaller passenger sedans have blind spots, particularly when motorcyclists are involved.
When you are operating your motorcycle, do what you can to avoid riding right beside a vehicle. Make sure that you are visible to a vehicle driver in their mirrors if you do have to ride along the side of them. If you think that you may be in a vehicle driver’s blind spot, either speed up or slow down to get out of that area.
There are various reasons why the surface of a roadway may be uneven. Often, you see this happen when you travel from one jurisdiction to another. Additionally, if there is any type of road construction going on, there could be uneven roads where they are performing maintenance.
In addition to jurisdiction changes and road construction, normal wear and tear on the roadway can also lead to uneven surfaces. This is particularly true on busier highways and city roadways. Motorcyclists must always be on the lookout for road surface changes in order to ensure their safety.
Side streets that come out onto main roadways can be dangerous for motorcyclists. Side streets are everywhere. Vehicles coming out of side streets may not always see a motorcyclist (or they may just assume the motorcyclist will slow down for them if they pull out). As a motorcyclist, you should always expect that vehicles coming from a side street will not see you, and you need to plan your reaction accordingly.
Intersections are arguably one of the most dangerous areas for all drivers, especially motorcyclists. This is where multiple roads will converge, and every driver on the roadway has a different goal. Some drivers will be turning while others may be barreling straight through the intersection. Additionally, motorcyclists need to be aware that intersections are where there may be significant amounts of gravel, debris, or slick surfaces.