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Motorcycle Accessories & Options: Full Fittings

Most motorcycles are good to go out of the box. However, there are a lot of different options out there to customize your ride with. Some of the more popular motorcycle accessories can help you add some personal flare. Not to mention, additional safety features that could become essential in unexpected situations.

Motorcycle Accessories: Keep Your Bike in Order

Audio systems

Audio systems are some of the most common motorcycle accessories riders choose. A good radio and speakers can help you better listen to your favorite music while riding. Furthermore, this means you won’t have to wear headphones to listen to your music, which can be quite risky while riding.

It’s important to know how your new system will mount to your bike. Some will easily allow you to swap the existing system for a new one. Others might need to be mounted elsewhere, like on your handlebars. Make sure to look for a system that won’t be in your way while riding.

Additional lighting

Extra lights are another example of motorcycle accessories with an additional safety benefit. For example, driving lights and light bars help add a bit of extra light reach to your bike. These can be mounted on your handlebars or near your headlight depending on the type.

There’s also cosmetic lighting, which can be mounted just about anywhere on your bike. These lights come in a wide variety of colors, and can be individual or full strips of lights. Some come with the ability to cycle through different colors, or flash and blink. Not only do you get some added flare, but you also improve your ability for other drivers to see you.

Security systems

Motorcycles are often a large investment. Like any investment, you’d want to make sure you keep it protected. That’s why security systems are some of the most recommended motorcycle accessories. Security systems help ensure that your bike stays with you where it belongs.

Additionally, you have a good amount of options here as well. Motion detectors, for example, will sound an alarm if someone is tapering or moving your bike. However, there are also more advanced options, like RFID keyless ignitions and GPS trackers. These give you some added control over your bike, but come at a higher price point.

Flooded Roads: Evacuating Safely

It can already be quite hard to drive in rainy or stormy weather. However, this weather could also cause flooded roads, which make it much harder to get around. Floods can appear even when you wouldn’t expect them, like during summer rainstorms. That’s why it’s important to know how to handled a flood while in your car…

Flooded Roads: How To Handle Them

Eyeball the water levels

Flooded roads can be a bit deceiving. Depending on where the road is or how shallow the land is around it, the flood might not seem as bad. However, this kind of assumption can be dangerous. That’s why it’s a good idea to perform an eyeball test before going near a flooded road.

Just 6 inches of water can cause damage to your car and lead to you stalling out. A foot of water could even cause your car to start floating! If the water levels appear to be 6 inches or deeper, it’s best to avoid heading down that road. Instead, try to find a safer, alternate route.

Take it slow

When it rains, the roads become more slick. As a result, your car tires lose some traction. That’s why slower speeds are generally preferred during poor weather. Going too fast could lead to hydroplaning, which could then lead to a potential accident. Flooded roads further increase this kind of risk.

The higher the flood, the less traction your tires will have on the road. If you try and speed through the flood, you might end up loosing all your traction and stall out. It also increases the risk of you loosing control of your car. That’s why it’s preferable to take it slow and keep your focus on the flooded road. 

Watch for hazards

One of the main dangers from flooded roads it what they might be hiding underneath the water. It can be very difficult to see underneath the floodwaters, especially while driving. Combine this with the fact that the poor weather might have caused environmental damage, and their could be something in the water which could cause damage to your car.

That’s why you’ll want to scan the environment before you enter any flooded roads. Look for things like any fallen trees or whipped-up debris which might tip you off to a problem. Fallen power lines are especially dangerous, but also potentially easier to spot. If you think the road might not be safe underneath the water, look for another way around.

How-to: Manage Salt on the Road During Winter

Winter brings slick driving conditions. Depending on where you live, snow and ice can build up on the road. In order to counteract that, many regions put down road salts to help melt ice. While this can really help melt the ice on the roads, it can negatively affect your vehicle. Learn how to manage salt on the road during winter.

How-to: Manage Salt on the Road During Winter: Protecting Your Vehicle

Why Salt?

Cities and states put salt on the road because it actually lowers the freezing point of water. 32 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which water normally freezes. However, when water is exposed to salt, the temperature needs to be lower than 32 in order to get the water to freeze. In fact, the more salt you add, the colder it needs to be for water to freeze. If you treat the roads with a layer of a salt and water mix, this helps to keep the roads from freezing over. Therefore, they are safer for vehicles to drive on.

However, if the road temperature goes below 15 degrees Fahrenheit, the salt may not be enough to keep the roads from freezing. In this case, road crews may add sand to the top of the ice to provide more traction.

Salt and Your Vehicle

While salt on the road is helpful for keeping drivers safe, it is actually not good for your vehicle. Salt can cause any exposed metal on your car to start to corrode. This can be an issue for people living on an island surrounded by salt water, or those who drive on roads with salt brine on them. The brake and fuel lines are located near the undercarriage of the car. This area is where most of the salt damage happens. Therefore, the brake and fuel lines are very susceptible to rust and corrosion.

What to Do

In order to protect against salts on the road during winter, it’s important to be proactive. Give your car a good wax job to help protect the finish. If you have any scrapes, chips, or rust spots, go ahead and have those fixed before winter weather hits. Make sure to wash your car often. Spray down your car to wash away the salt. Invest in a car wash that will clean the undercarriage every few weeks in order to clean the areas of your car most likely to be affected by salt. Also, if you get on the road behind a truck spraying salt on the roads, stay back. This will keep your car from getting sprayed with salt too.

Driving Safely in Snow

Winter in the South is pretty unpredictable. Will we South and North Carolinians get a season of ice? Rain? Maybe a little snow? We never can be too sure, although we usually get at least one good snow in the South. For this reason, it’s important that a solid technique for driving safely in snow be well within your wheelhouse. But what steps can you take, besides staying home, to keep yourself safe when outside looks more like a winter wonderland than normal? 

Driving Safely in Snow: Tips for Winter Trips 

Look Further Ahead 

When it’s cold and wet and frosty, you might find yourself focusing solely on the road ahead of you. After all, there are immediate dangers to account for. But, force yourself to take turns between looking closely and looking further ahead. You might see brake lights, patches of black ice, a car accident, wet spots, or another unexpected roadway obstruction. For these reasons, driving safely in the snow starts with thinking clearly, being on high alert, and looking at the road conditions around you. They can change rapidly. 

Be prepared to skid and slide 

No matter how dedicated you are to driving safely in the snow, a little bit of skidding and sliding is very common in this type of weather. Prepare for this possibility and understand the best ways to combat the problem. Drive slowly, don’t slam on the breaks, turn your hazards on, and remain calm. Review your front and rear wheel skidding techniques. Being from the South, we don’t experience this type of weather all that often so it can be scary. If you’re not prepared to deal with it, there’s no shame in staying home, asking for a ride, or walking to your destination if it’s close by!

Don’t fall for false senses of security, such as four wheel drive 

Lastly, and most importantly, don’t put your faith into one function, feature, or item more than you put into your own ability to drive safely in show. Four-wheel drive, snow tires, or snow chains are fantastic tools for increasing safety. But don’t expect them to do the work for you. You have to remain focused, attentive, and cautious when driving— even if you have some mechanisms in place to make that trip just a bit safer. You never know when these safety features might fail you. 

How-to Practice Early Voting Safety During COVID-19

In what is being described as a ‘record avalanche’ of early votes, the polls have been seemingly busier than usual during this season of early voting. Here in Charlotte, voting stations are available city wide. Bank of America Stadium is acting as a polling station so you can social distance and cast your early vote. But, with numbers on rise both in terms of voters and COVID-19, how do you practice early voting safety in this time that requires special consideration? The good news is that by going early, you’re already taking the first step. 

How-to Practice Early Voting Safety during COVID-19: Safety in Numbers

Wear a mask 

There are a few different things that you need to do in order to both follow CDC guidelines and to practice early voting safety. The first step we encourage is wearing a mask. While many public spaces currently enforce this mandate— you might find that you can sometimes slip through the cracks. Even in those instances, we encourage you to wear your mask. As we mention above, the number of early voters is at a record high. This means that even on a slow day or during an hour you might think to be slow, you might still find yourself in quite a long line or big crowd. Wear a mask, be aware, and keep your distance even if there is no one close by telling you to do so. 

Hand Sanitizer is essential 

Many polling places are skipping stickers this year and instead opting for pens with a stylus. Exercising the pen versus sticker option keeps you from having to touch as many different things. While this is absolutely a helpful and mindful step for North Carolina to take, it doesn’t fully eliminate the sanitation issue. So, keep hand sanitizer in your pocket or bag. Use sanitizer after every step of the process and hope others do the same. Early voting safety starts the same way as any other situation does— by keeping your hands and spaces clean and sanitary. 

Consider mailing in your ballot 

If you want to avoid the polling places altogether, consider choosing the mail-in ballot option. Mail-in ballot locations are located all over the city. All you have to do is drop your ballot in the box and go on with your day— easy as that! Many people feel wary of this option for any number of reasons. But, if you feel confident in doing so, mail-in voting a great way to practice early voting safety. Just make sure you are aware of the deadlines and that you have filled your ballot out properly. 

Don’t let COVID-19 deter you from casting your vote! 

I hope that through this article we have proven to your that early voting safety is possible! Whether it’s by mail, at a location in the coming weeks, or on election day. No matter how you vote, it is absolutely possible to protect yourself and others to the best of your ability. Vote safe, sanitize, find the best method for you, and practice your civic duty. We wish you a safe and healthy holiday season in this difficult time

Operating Heavy Machinery: Practice Workplace Safety

There are workplace hazards that come with operating heavy machinery. Some examples of this type of equipment are cranes, front-end loaders, skid loaders, bulldozers, forklifts and tractors. Due to the size and weight of these pieces of equipment, they can be very dangerous. In fact, according to OSHA, about 404 people in America die each year in heavy equipment accidents. They also say the failure or misuse of heavy equipment is one of the top 10 causes of workplace fatalities. If you operate heavy machinery, it is important to know what to do and not do to best keep you safe.

Operating Heavy Machinery: Things to Know

Training

The first step to safely operating heavy machinery is to be properly trained. This may be a long, involved process, but it is essential for safety. Each person using this equipment should be trained and certified on using the equipment. Even if it is just on how to do a simple task, training is so important due to the nature of the machines. Regular refresher training is good to do every few weeks.

Take it Slow

Another thing to consider when operating heavy machinery is to take it slow and safe. If you are on a tight deadline to finish a project, you may feel the need to go fast. Do not fall into a trap where you skip safety steps and rush. This could lead to you making mistakes. Employers should not try and rush workers while they are using these heavy machines. Errors when using big, heavy equipment could turn into life threatening mistakes. Rushing is not worth the risk of hurting yourself or someone else.

Communication

When operating heavy machinery, it is so important to communicate on the job site. For example, make sure that all workers in the area know when a vehicle is occupied and in use. Have others keep an eye out and keep any dangerous areas around the vehicle clear. Communication also applies to creating clear guidelines for operating procedures. This way everyone is on the same page.

Remove Distractions

Distractions bring in another dangerous element when operating heavy machinery. Phones and headphones should not be used or allowed while using these heavy machines. Construction sites can be dangerous on their own. There are many hazards, including people moving around. A distracted machinery operator may not pay attention or notice people around them, or other hazards.

By following these guidelines, you will be safer while operating heavy machinery. They are not hard steps to follow, but can make a huge difference in workplace safety.