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Tips for safe motorcycle riding in the fall

Although summer is ending, it does not mean your riding days have to be over, too. You will still use your motorcycle to get to work or to enjoy the beautiful fall season.

Regardless of your reason to continue riding, follow these tips for safe travels on the roads this autumn.

Prepare for temperature changes

Fall temperatures during the day may not drop very low, but nights are cold and can even reach freezing. If you plan on riding during the early morning or late evening, dress in layers or pack extra outerwear. Being too hot or too cold affects more than just your comfort level; it also impairs your focus and ability to ride and react normally. In addition, the cooler temperatures mean a high probability of frost and ice on the roads. The temperature changes also affect your tire pressure, so check your wheels regularly.

Drive cautiously in all weather conditions

Autumn can include every weather type: sunshine, rain, wind, fog and snow. Each of these presents danger, from poor visibility to slick roads. Carry rain gear with you and wear a helmet not only to protect your head but also your vision. Reduce your speed in inclement weather and increase your distance from other vehicles to allow plenty of room for unexpected stops or swerves.

Watch out for road hazards

Other road hazards common this time of year include:

  • Leaves: Leaf piles may hide potholes and other poor road conditions, and wet leaves decrease your traction. The emerging fall colors can be distracting to motorists as well.
  • Animals: Deer and many small animals are out and about the most at dawn and dusk, particularly where the woods and farms are close to the road.
  • Back-to-school traffic: Fall means school buses that make frequent stops, children who need to cross the streets and bicyclists on their way to school. Morning and evening traffic is heavier.

Stay alert and avoid areas with a high rate of these road hazards. Preparing for all these dangers and following traffic laws can significantly lower the chances that you will get into an accident with another vehicle.

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