scenic road with leavesAs the season changes, more motorcyclists are looking to get those final rides in before the weather forces us into snow boots and parkas. Motorcyclists understand that the riding season is far too short, however; as the weather changes there are a few things we all need to be aware of before hitting that scenic loop one more time.

Don’t let the sunny blue-skied days that Autumn tends to tease us with fool you into not being prepared while riding in the Autumn months.

Here are the Top 10 Hazards riders should know about during Autumn:

1. Leaves on the Road

We all love those drives to see the fall leaves changing, but the reality is these same leaves are going to be on the road. What does that mean for you? Leaves could cover potholes and other road irregularities leaving the rider unbeknown to dangerous road conditions. Not only are the leaves on the road, but potentially wet, causing slippery and dangerous roads for riders.

2. Shorter Days

As winter approaches, the days start getting shorter. Being prepared to ride in the dark, there are few things you need to make sure are up to par. Brake lights, headlights, and blinkers need to be functioning properly so other motorists can see you when riding.  Riders should wear highly reflective gear to make themselves as visible as obvious as possible.

3. Sunlight Glare

The sun is lower in the sky making glare times longer and more distracting. Also, as the leaves begin to fall, the sunlight beams through these barren branches creating even more distracting light changes.

4. Deer Migrating

There are certain times of the year that deer traffic is heavier; Autumn in one of those times. The deer are making it home to their winter homes and are crossing more roads, creating more hazards for motorists in general.

5. Cold Tires

Be sure to replace your sport tires for more suitable tires for the cold weather. Sport tires are softer and in the summer months, create more grip due that softness. However, in the colder months, sport tires become hard and lose the traction they are known for. Consider getting touring tires that will be safer as the temperatures drop.

6. Cold Riders

Cold riders means cold hands. The harsh weather that can sometimes surprise us in Utah, means that every rider should be prepared and always have the proper riding equipment to keep you warm while riding. Another factor that cold has on the riders is cold weather is fatiguing. It is very easy to get caught up in the ride and not realize how tired or cold you are. Be sure to take frequent stops and to warm up regularly.

7. Improper Gear

Bundling-up is always the best idea when riding in cold weather. Too many layers can slow down reaction time and can be distracting. Heated riding gear can be a great solution to this problem.

8. Icy Roads

Icy roads are a common concern for motorcyclists. Frosty morning and dropping temperatures at night can create a thin layer of ice on the roads. Be extra cautious during those times of the day and careful when crosses bridges or into shady areas, as those tend to ice over first.

9. Fewer Riders

As riders start putting their motorcycles away for the winter months, there will be fewer riders on the road. Cars drivers will not be expecting to see motorcyclist as many riders on the road, which confirms that you must make yourself as visible as possible.

10.  Closed

When the weather changes, the road conditions change and some roads may close seasonally. Be sure to know your route and gas up before getting too far from city living.

No matter the season, there are always going to be hazards motorcyclists need to be aware of. However, knowing what to be prepared for in the fall months may help you stay safe while getting those final rides in.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident and are seeking compensation, give Christensen and Hymas a call today for a free initial consultation at (801) 506-0800.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.