Getting Stuck Riding in Rain: A Hazard to Riders

No matter what gear you have on, getting stuck in the rain on a motorcycle is no easy task. Sometimes weather can change quickly out on the road, and we find ourselves in the middle of a rainstorm. Unlike cars, riders only have two wheels, a helmet, and the jacket on their back to protect them. For this reason, if you’re riding through rain, you are at risk for a serious accident. Whether it is hydroplaning, someone else’s error, or just a slick oil spot, riders remain at risk of injury.

Getting Stuck Riding in Rain: A Hazard to Riders

Take for example, a rider getting stuck in the rain on an interstate. While rain takes time to pick up and start pouring, there is little any rider can do. If there is construction along the shoulders, there is nowhere to pull over and put on a rain jacket or thicker gear. Not to mention, likely, you don’t have emergency wet weather gear. At any rate, a rider is pretty much out of luck. Your gear is wet, your visor is slick with rain, and you’re ready to be home.

How can I prepare?

We have to take measures for our own safety. However, rain is difficult to prepare for. You can put rain resistant material onto your visor, have a waterproof jacket, but most of the danger lies in the roadway. Oil spots, cars that drive erratically, and lowered visibility. Ultimately, all you can do is slow down, try and make yourself more visible, and pull over when the going gets tough.

If unable to pull over, riders can only do so much to protect themselves. For one, a rider can slow down to have a safe control over their motorcycle. If cars fail to let a rider merge onto an outer lane, any rider has to keep moving. However, by this time, the rain could pick up more and the rider will be at even more risk. If a motorcycle begins to hydroplane, the rider can only do so much with two wheels.

Plan ahead

The best move you can make for yourself, is to plan for the weather. Check the forecast before you head out. You’re at a higher risk of injury, or just a miserable ride if it begins to rain. So, drive safe, check the weather, and maybe invest in some warm weather gear. You never know what these North and South Carolina days may bring! Happy riding.

Commercial Driver’s DUI: What Does This Mean for My Career? 

Being a commercial driver comes with it’s own set of responsibilities. You are supposed to be the smartest, safest, most agile drivers on the road. And typically, you are. Driving a vehicle that’s more than twice the size of a passenger vehicle— tractor trailer drivers are practically modern- day superheroes. However, in the event that you might be drinking and driving, a Commercial Driver’s DUI has some pretty serious consequences. These large, potentially dangerous vehicles demand safe, alert drivers. As do the companies that hire you. So, in the event of a DUI, the punishment is pretty severe.

Commercial Driver’s DUI: What Does This Mean for My Career?

A First-Offense Equals Suspended CDL

The DMV will suspend a CDL when commercial drivers commit a major offense. These major offenses include DUIs, drug offenses, refusing a BAC, hit and runs, and using a commercial vehicle for a felony. A first offense suspends a CDL for a year.

Surprisingly, the DUI does not have to occur in a commercial vehicle. A suspension will occur when one of the following occurs. First, the driver receives a DUI in any vehicle. Second, the driver has a BAC of .04% while driving a commercial vehicle. Third, the driver refuses to submit to testing when pulled over in any vehicle. Therefore, a driver who holds a CDL must exercise caution and smart driving decisions at all times.

The Second Offense

The second offense is much more serious. Any second major offense (the ones listed above) suspends your CDL for life. Therefore, two DUIs suspend your CDL for life. The penalty is especially serious because it can cause you to lose your profession without the potential for return. Furthermore, you also face the jail time and fines associated with DUIs.

CDL As A Privilege

Having a CDL is a privilege that can be taken away if need be. If the DMV cannot trust you to make good decisions in a passenger vehicle, who’s to say you’ll do so behind the wheel of a big rig? The DMV operates with this type of mindset when it comes to CDL’s. Unlike most people, a commercial driver’s DUI has a direct effect on your day-to-day, profession, and income. So, if you’re facing a DUI and you have CDL, it’s important to speak with an attorney quickly.

Tailgating Tractor Trailers: Why It’s Dangerous

Tailgating any vehicle, for any reason, is extremely dangerous. You risk causing a fender bender, or worse, depending on what type of vehicle you’re following too closely. When car drivers tailgate other vehicles, they shorten the distance. The shorter the distance, the shorter amount of time there is for a driver to stop in the event that they need to. One instance where this can be particularly dangerous, is if you’re tailgating a tractor trailer or other industrial vehicle. They’re much larger, much more proactive in stopping, and much harder to see around.

Tailgating Tractor Trailers: Why It’s Dangerous

Lowered Visibility

Following too closely behind a truck is dangerous for a number of reasons. One of which, is that the truck driver may not be able to see you so they can’t adjust for your presence. Aside from this, you also can’t see what’s going on in front of that truck. Maybe traffic is stacking, an accident just occurred, or a speed limit reduction is coming up. For any of these situations, your visibility when tailgating would be way too close to tell. So, if the tractor trailer significantly reduces speed or stops quick, you very likely could hit them. While any type of accident is not ideal, rear-ending a tractor trailer can do some pretty serious damage. However, it’s not going to damage they vehicle…

The Mansfield, or DOT, Bar

There are plenty of things that can happen if you rear-end a truck. But one measure of these, once gruesome, accidents has been reduced through adaptations to the back end of tractor trailers. For one, many trucks nowadays have a DOT bar, or a Mansfield Bar. The Mansfield bar was crafted in the ’60s, after a Hollywood starlet and her lover perished in an accident.

On that evening, a thick fog covered the road, reducing visibility, and they rear-ended a tractor trailer. At the time, there was no measure in place to keep a car from going under the truck when they hit it. Therefore, after this terrible accident, a new safety measure came to be. A bar that would prevent vehicles from sliding underneath the tractor trailer in the event of an accident. 

Death and Deadly Injury

Tailgating a tractor trailer serves no real purpose. Many times, when drivers are angry, they will tailgate a vehicle to prove a point. Speed up, pay more attention, or ‘you shouldn’t have passed me’. It seems quite common that those who tailgate, are trying to deliver a message. But, tractor trailers cannot see you. Therefore, they are not aware that you have an issue. So, riding their bumper can ultimately only hurt you.

Left Turn Collisions: Serious or Fatal Motorcycle Accidents

Whether you fail to yield on a blinking yellow, someone else fails to adhere to a stoplight, or you drift into oncoming traffic during the turn; left turn collisions are a pretty common occurrence on the roadway. Left turns are a bit less protected than, say, a right turn. Because of this, typically they are a bit more serious. Now, you add a motorcycle into the mix and they quickly become deadly. At any rate, drivers and riders are at an increased risk when a car overestimates just how much time and space they have to turn left.

Left Turn Collisions: Serious or Fatal Motorcycle Accidents

Anyone who has driven on a busy roadway knows that it can be pretty difficult to execute a turn quickly in traffic. Whether you overestimate, don’t see a vehicle, or if they make an error… We may find ourselves in a hurry to get where we’re going. But, keep in mind that safety is of the upmost concern. Getting there safely is way more important than getting there quickly. Left turn collisions are typically some of the more serious accidents. So, taking a few more minutes to pick the right gap could save your life.

Left turns can be quick and easy, or extremely difficult

It seems that, more often than not, traffic goes one of two ways. Either you have a crystal clear roadway for turning. Or, traffic keeps coming at what seems like an unstoppable rate. Between traffic, and stoplights, sometimes you might start to feel like you’ll never turn. But, taking that chance and going for it a bit too quickly can be dangerous for every person on the roadway. Especially if a motorcycle happens to be the next vehicle in line.

Motorcyclists can only withstand so much impact before an accident becomes serious.

Ultimately, motorcyclists cannot control or predict the behavior of other drivers. While this remains the case for both drivers and riders, motorcycle accidents become serious a bit more quickly and frequently. So, watch where you’re going! Stay alert on the roadway, and don’t rush to make risky moves. Driving, even though we do it every day, is a dangerous thing. Sometimes we fail to remember that we are operating a potentially deadly weapon. Especially in reference to smaller vehicles on the roadway.

Adaptive Cruise Control: A Threat to Riders?

Adaptive cruise control is a safety feature for many new cars. Just like any cruise control, it assists by maintaining a speed without the driver having to do any work. However, as a safety feature, ACC (for short) also keeps a safe following distance from other vehicles. While this helps car owners drive safer, it is only a feature, not a faultless system. If car drivers depend on ACC and do not pay attention, it can easily become dangerous. Especially for vehicles that are harder to detect, such as motorcycles.

Adaptive Cruise Control: A Threat to Riders?

Motorcycles are more difficult to spot on the road because they are smaller than your typical car. Take for example, a car driver who is using adaptive cruise control and decides to text and drive. No doubt, the ACC maintains the speed of the car. However, the driver still needs to give their attention to the road. As we’ve said, no system is faultless. Not to mention, we are in a time where these features are recently being adapted. Therefore, if there is ever a time for error— it is now. So, say you’re texting, using this cruise control feature, and out of nowhere, you rear end a motorcycle. In most scenarios, this would be less than ideal but still a family quick process.

Motorcyclists are more susceptible to injury than your typical passenger car driver when it comes to a fender bender…

Serious personal injury or death is a possibility every time a motorcycle is part of a crash. So, this is example number one as to why adaptive cruise control should be a helper and not something you rely on to get you home safely.

Every driver knows, cruise control helps by maintaining speed without the driver having to hit the gas. However, keeping drivers at a safe following distance is a huge responsibility that, sometimes, a machine might not be able to account for. Maintaining an appropriate distance behind other vehicles is the duty of the driver, not the machine.

No doubt, cruise control is beneficial to drivers, but it is not an excuse to be distracted behind the wheel. In short, when using adaptive cruise control,  car drivers still need to give their undivided attention to the road. If not, they can cause a wreck ending with serious injuries for drivers and riders.