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Holiday Season Safety for Motorcycle Riders

Holiday Season Safety for Motorcycle Riders

Improving Motorcycle Safety During the Holidays

Understandably, many motorcycle riders find Florida an ideal place to live during the winter holiday season, as the mild temperatures and lack of inclement weather mean you can ride year-round. However, this season does not come without its share of hazards for motorcyclists around the country.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics estimates that across all forms of transportation, over 15 billion trips were taken during the holiday season from December 2020 to January 2021. This was about a 5.5 billion decrease from the previous year; however, the number is expected to rise again in late 2021. Considering the roadway usage during this time of year, it is crucial to understand how you can keep yourself safe during holiday travel.

Perform Pre-Season Maintenance on Your Bike

Even if you aren't planning to travel outside of Florida during this time of year, having designated times during the seasons to perform preventative maintenance on your motorcycle can help improve its longevity. Here is a checklist to consider:

  • Tires: are they worn down or deflating?
  • Wheels: how long has it been since they've been rotated?
  • Battery: is it fully charged or has signs of corrosion?
  • Brakes: what state are your brake pads in?
  • Fluids: what are the levels, and should they be changed?

Crashes resulting from maintenance issues are some of the most highly avoidable ones you could be involved in. No matter what state you live in or how infrequently you store your bike, ensure it's being properly maintained.

Plan Trips Early

Regardless if you are going to the next town over or crossing state lines, traffic during the holiday season is unlike any other time of the year. Unfortunately, this also means that there may be higher rates of hazards on the roads, especially other drivers. To account for the influx of traffic that is likely on interstates or other main roads in your area, plan any trips ahead of time. This includes where you are stopping to rest or refuel.

Which Travel Days to Avoid

It's generally a good idea to reduce traveling immediately before or after the day of the holiday. During the week of Thanksgiving, this may mean avoid driving on the Wednesday before and Friday after. When planning your trip ahead of time, consider how certain days may affect the commute and the hazards that come into play.

For example, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is commonly known as “Drunksgiving” or “Black Wednesday” because of the number of drunk driving accidents that occur. A motorcyclist may be significantly harder to see at night for a sober driver, so understand the risks of being involved in a collision caused by an alcohol-impaired one.

Be Mindful of Dangerous Roadway Users

We've all felt the stress and anxiety that are common around the holidays at one point or another. With last-minute shopping trips, driving to visit family, or simply slowing down to look at lawn decorations, there are no shortages of potential hazards that could occur. Likewise, as mentioned previously, other driver factors may increase roadway dangers.

It's not uncommon for passenger car drivers to not consider other vehicles on the road, especially motorcycles, when engaging in drowsy, drunk, or even stressed driving. As a motorcyclist, understand how other drivers may affect your own driving ability and adjust accordingly. For example, you may find it safer to stay in one location (like a family member's house) throughout the duration of the holiday festivities and only travel during the daytime.

Regardless of which decisions you make, ensure you are doing what you can to keep yourself and others safe.

Daytona Beach Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Politis & Matovina, P.A. has been committed to protect the rights of motorcycle riders since 1993 and aims to help you have a fun, healthy, and safe holiday season.

Even if you do everything safely, we understand that some drivers may act negligently during this time of year, putting you and your loved ones in danger. Know that you have a right to seek compensation for damages caused by a negligent driver. Call (386) 333-6613 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team to discuss your potential case.