Watch out for motorcyclists this spring

The cold weather may be lingering around Dalton for a few more days at least, but spring is on its way to Northern Georgia. That means that there will soon be lots of bikers riding motorcycles on the highways and byways of our lovely state.

It's every motorist's responsibility to watch out for the riders on their two-wheel cycles. This is especially important in early spring when drivers aren't used to seeing many motorcyclists on the highways during the colder months of winter.

Before heading out on that first ride of spring, motorcylists should check the tire pressure and fluid levels. Watch for any signs of wear and tear that indicate a need for further maintenance.

Let safety guide your riding

The unpredictability of spring weather can lead to rain-slick roads. Brief showers can dampen otherwise lovely spring afternoons, but even worse, they can create riding hazards by leaving an oily sheen on the highways that can cause motorcylists and motorists to hydroplane.

Protect your beautiful mind

There is never a good reason to ride without a helmet. Make sure that yours fits well and meets all industry standards.

Watch for water hazards

In addition to making the roads slick, rainstorms can leave puddles of standing water that hide deep potholes. If a motorcyclist hits one of them at a high rate of speed, it's not going to be a good result.

Stay visible — stay alive

Look at it this way — if a motorist can't see you coming, they can't avoid hitting you. Wear bright colored riding gear instead of dark leathers, because while bikers' leather gear offers good protection from road rash and other hazards, it does nothing to improve their visibility on the road.

The same goes for your headlight. Always ride with your headlight on, even in the middle of the day so that it increases the chance that you can avoid a collision. Also, make sure that you signal your intent to turn and give drivers' blind spots a wide berth.

Take action after an accident

Despite taking all the precautions, accidents can and do still happen. If you get injured in a crash with a motorist, make sure that you call the police and get a report, and get checked out by a doctor. You then have a record of the accident and can pursue compensation for your injuries and other losses stemming from the wreck.

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