Motorcycle hazards

Melting snow might mean the start of riding season, but motorcycles have something else to look out for: potholes and gravel. Potholes can be caused by the wear and tear of roads from cars, but they can also be the product of the freeze-thaw cycle of winter. Without the blanket of snow covering the roads, spring means the appearance of both existing and new potholes.

Gravel can get tossed onto the road by winter winds and cars that don't stay between the lines. Both of these hazards are tricky for motorcyclists. No matter how experienced the rider, divots in the road can cause a breach in balance for the light-weight bikes. Find out how bikers can handle these problems.

Location of danger
According to, roads that twist and turn are more likely to have an excess of gravel. When cars veer off onto the shoulder of the road, they knock little rocks and pebbles in the way of other vehicles. Even more dangerous, curving roads can block drivers' vision of what's ahead. Since motorcyclists might not see the gravel coming, knowing that it could potentially be there is the next line of defense. Gravel is also more likely to be at the bottom of hills and near tight corners. Though motorcyclists should always obey the speed limit, they should be more cautious while driving in these areas.

Riding through it
If riders see road hazards, they should do everything in their power to ride around it. Sometimes, though, the obstruction is too big to avoid. In this case, riders must stay calm. They should drive the bike straight to the exit path and try to remain balanced. To do this, riders must tightly grip their knees and legs to the bike and relax their upper bodies. They should also avoid braking abruptly on gravel, but if it must be done, riders should brake while the bike is completely upright. However, the best way to stay safe is to avoid the hazards completely.

Handling insurance
In the event of any motorcycle accident, riders should call their insurance companies immediately. Legal action can also be taken, especially with roadway hazards. The city is liable for the accident if they have had notice of the pothole or other roadway obstruction and did nothing about it. A motorcyclists' lawyer will have to investigate on whether or not the city had notice.

CoverHound offers a variety of motorcycle insurances.

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