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Rainy Riding: Managing Road Conditions

For most people, an ideal motorcycle ride is when the sun is out and the weather is nice. However, as a motorcycle rider, there might be some times when you’ll have to ride in less-favorable conditions, like the rain. Rainy riding can be challenging, but also very doable… 

Rainy Riding: Maintaining Safe Travels

Prepare your gear

Rainy riding means you’ll be facing a constant downpour, and at high speeds. That means that your usual riding gear might not be a good choice for keeping you dry and safe. Instead, you’ll want to get some specialty rain gear to help you handle these special rides.

You’ll want to get some gear that keeps you dry and your grip secure when rainy riding, while also being comfortable. Try to find a good balance between comfort and practicality. Give special attention to your visibility as well. Helmet visors tend to fog up in the rain, so investing in a special clear, anti-fog visor is a good idea. 

Ride smoothly & smartly

When you ride in poor conditions, you’ll have to change how you handle your bike to stay safe. Riding faster or more aggressively in the rain will increase the risk of you getting into an accident. That’s why rainy riding involves going more smooth and making smart decisions.

For example, try to handle your throttle more gently than usual, making gradual changes rather than more drastic ones. Also, try to brake more gradually and give yourself plenty of breaking room. Slamming on the brakes while on a wet surface could result in them locking up, and then sending you and your bike into a slide. It’s better to give increased following distance to avoid these issues when rainy riding.

Watch intersections more closely

Intersections can already be quite risky for motorcycle riders. Rainy riding further increases the danger of these intersections. That’s why you should give all types of intersections special attention when the weather is less-than-ideal. 

Approach these intersections slowly and cautiously. Keep an eye on other drivers around you, and don’t try to do anything risky like making a yellow light. When you’re stopped, take stock of the cars around you and who might be behind or beside you. It’s important to be aware of what’s going on around you so you can act accordingly.

Dog Bite Injuries: How to Avoid Them

While dogs have become known as man’s best friend, most often that means their owner’s best friend. When it comes to strangers, some dogs aren’t quite so friendly. For this reason, dog bite injuries can be quite common… and dangerous.

Not only are they very common in neighborhoods and living complexes, but they mostly happen to children. They are also common on-the-job injuries for employees that have to approach or work in homes. While certain areas have leash laws and other protective measures, it’s still important to practice these tips when approaching a dog you don’t know. After all, a dog bite might seem less severe than other types of personal injury but they can be just as serious.

Avoiding Dog Bite Injuries: Personal Injury

Don’t Approach Too Quickly

When dealing with a dog you don’t know, you never want to approach too quickly. For one thing, you don’t know the demeanor of the dog, so it’s best to keep your distance. In addition, coming up to a dog very quickly can put them on alert. Of course, the dog isn’t familiar with you either so they don’t know if you’re a threat…

When you approach too quickly, they may feel like you are going to attack. In that case, they may react out of fear and you could face dog bite injuries. As a child, it’s very natural to run up to a cute, furry dog. So, it’s important to teach your kids to approach slowly as well.

Be Aware of Their Food and Toys

Dogs can feel very protective over things that are theirs. Therefore, they may become aggressive when eating or playing with a chew toy. So, it’s best to avoid bothering them while they eat. At that point, they may become aggressive due to their protective instincts. If you’re reaching down and they snap too quickly, you could face serious dog bite injuries to your hands or fingers. 

Don’t Try to Calm Them

When facing an aggressive dog, it can be tempting to try to calm them. However, that can lead to dog bite injuries very quickly. While some dogs don’t mean anything by their bark, others mean business. It doesn’t always mean they need to get to know you or sniff you out first.

Those tactics can calm some dogs and they will settle down rather quickly. However, you may just be putting yourself within a closer bite range. If you don’t know the dog or it’s owners, don’t assume you can calm them by talking to them or letting them sniff you.

If You’re On the Job…

Some jobs demand that you approach or even work in a person’s home. For instance, mailmen and other delivery service employees must approach stranger’s homes everyday. In addition, working in construction, electricity, plumbing, and other services can place you in a stranger’s home.

As a stranger in or around the home, you can seem like the biggest threat to a dog. Because of their protective instincts, they may try to snap to protect their owners and their territory. Therefore, it’s important to be cautious when approaching home. Be on alert for dogs that may roam the yard freely or run out of the door quickly. Dog bite injuries at work can be serious and lead to injuries that will prevent you from being able to do your job.

The best way to avoid dog bite injuries is to keep your distance until you feel safe around the dog and the dog feels safe around you…

While you may know to stay back, many kids do not. It’s instinctive to reach out to a dog as a child, especially if they have pets at home. So, be sure to teach your kids about keeping their distance when they don’t know the dog. By doing so, you can help prevent your children from facing serious dog bite injuries.

Overloaded Truck: Concern and Risk

On their own, tractor trailers can be difficult to handle. This becomes especially apparent if they go over their normal load limits. An overloaded truck can make tractor trailer driving even more dangerous. It’s important to be aware of the risks that come with overloading and improperly loading your truck…

Overloaded Truck: Understanding the Issue

Load limits

Federal law caps the weight limit for commercial vehicles at 80,000 pounds. However, that doesn’t mean that all trucks can carry that weight. That’s why it’s important to know how much your truck can handle to avoid having an overloaded truck. 

Your truck’s total capacity is determined by a number of things. These include it’s braking system, drive train, axles, and wheels just to name a few. However, each truck should have a sticker letting you know what its capacity is. Exceeding this capacity could cause your truck components to wear down and break.

Harder handling

Damaged components are not the only risk that comes with an overloaded truck. These vehicles also are much harder to handle than usual. The added weight makes your truck less responsive and more likely to have the heavier trailer swing out of control.

Rollovers and Jackknifing

Rollovers and jackknifing are also more common on overloaded trucks. So is losing control over your truck, especially when going downhill. These all can increase the risk of accidents to both you and other drivers. That’s why it’s much safer to drive with a properly loaded truck. 

Improperly loaded

Your truck doesn’t have to be over its weight limit to be overloaded. In fact, sometimes you can have an overloaded truck due to improper loading. Improper loading can cause one side of your truck to be heavier than another, causing issues for you when driving.

For example, a truck with too much weight on the left side will struggle to turn right. This unbalanced load will also increase the chance of rollovers during left turns. That’s why it’s important to make sure your cargo is loaded safely and balanced.

Overloaded trucks might seem like a way to move a bit more cargo each trip. However, the risks far outweigh the benefits. Everyone on the road is much safer when trucks carry loads within their weight limits.

Rush Hour Riding: Accident Prevention

Most riders try to avoid rush hour. The amount of cars on the road makes for an unsafe ride, but also for a unenjoyable one. Because of the heavy amount of traffic on the roads at this time, motorcycle riders have an extra responsibility to themselves to be extra cautious of others on the road. Sure, everyone should be paying attention to their surroundings, but as we know, that sometimes doesn’t happen. We have a collection of helpful tips for rush hour riding.

Rush Hour Riding: Tips for A Safe Trip

Be Ready to Brake

Braking quickly is an easy way to get into an accident, small or large. If you are ready to brake at any moment, you will be much more ready for whatever happens. It’s not uncommon for traffic to come to a screeching halt. Rush hour riding means preparing for anything to happen.

Watch for People Turning

When people coming the opposite direction on a two lane highway want to turn left (directly in front of you), they will probably do so last minute. This could mean they cut you off. Like previously mentioned, being prepared and alert is the only way to stay safe in these situations. Rush hour riding requires much more thought and preparation, since the road is wide open for you!

Keep an Eye Out

Watch out for others on the road. If you see someone driving dangerously, try to avoid being near that car if you can. Many times drivers assume rush hour is a lawless time where rules don’t apply. You can also spot drivers who have distractions most of the time! If you see the driver next to you is on their cellphone, try to safely pass. Rush hour riding can be dangerous if you are not aware of your surroundings.

To conclude, the main thing you can do for yourself when you are rush hour riding is just watch out for others on the road. While, yes, they should be watching out for you, too, often times they are not. Keep your brakes ready and your eyes open.

Motorcycle Passengers: Your Responsibility

Motorcycles are fun and enjoyable. They can double in fun and enjoyment with a passenger in tow. However, adding motorcycle passengers can be dangerous if the passenger does not properly handle the ride. Are you joining someone on a ride for the first time? Here are some tips to make a smooth ride for you and the rider.

Motorcycle Passengers: Useful Tips

Getting On and Off

For starters, motorcycle passengers are just that: passengers. Make sure the rider is on the bike first and ready for you to join. The rider should be stable with both feet on the ground. Use the footpegs to help. When getting off, make sure the rider knows your plans to do so! The change in weight can cause a rider to drop their bike.

Speaking of Footpegs

Use them! Using the footpegs will keep your weight distributed between the pegs and the seat. This will make for a smoother, more stable ride. Also, remember you should never put your feet on the ground during a ride.

Motorcycle passengers should use the footpegs during the duration of the ride to maintain their safety. Additionally, there are hot exhaust pipes near the passenger seats of motorcycles. Using the footpegs will help you avoid touching those.

Proper Outfit

Safety wise, wearing clothing that will cover and protect your skin is the best bet. Prepare yourself with proper safety equipment, such as a helmet, before going on a ride. But motorcycle passengers also have to watch out for their shoes. Untied shoelaces (and other loose pieces of clothing) can get caught on the chain or belt of the back of the bike. Ensure that nothing is hanging so nothing gets caught! 

Lean With It

Some advice for handling motorcycles is “lean into the turn”. Motorcycle passengers shouldn’t lean too much, however. Leaning too much or unexpectedly can make it difficult for the rider to control the bike. Some advice for this is: look over the rider’s shoulder in the direction you are turning.

Lastly, and most importantly, operating a motorcycle is fun, as is being a passenger. Remember that motorcycle passengers have a responsibility to themselves and the rider to help create a safe riding environment. Have a fun and safe ride!

Defensive Driving: Avoiding Accident

Driving, no matter how often we do it, is a dangerous act that requires skill, attention, and multitasking. While most of us take to the roadways every single day, there are plenty of drivers who fail to observe the basic rules of the road. Due to risky drivers, amongst other factors, it’s important that all of us take part in defensive driving. Defensive driving essentially means to drive with correct habits, and stay alert to present, and potential, dangers in the roadway.

While most of us do this to some degree, there are many others who don’t understand exactly how to go about it. So, we’re here to help. Below, you will find some basic tips for defensive driving and protecting yourself from potential accidents…

Defensive Driving: Tips for Staying Alert and Safe 

Focus on the Task at Hand

​One quick way to put yourself at risk, is to stop defensive driving and become distracted. Distractions keep you from being alert in terms of road conditions, and drivers around you. Distractions are everywhere, and we often indulge just a little bit. From answering a phone call, a text, and changing the song on the radio— taking your eyes, or mind, off of the road can be quite dangerous. Instead, focus on your surroundings. Answer the call or text later, make your playlist ahead of time, and keep your eyes on the road. 

When In Doubt, Yield

Many accidents come from uncertainty about who has the right of way. Should you go? Or is it their turn? An inability to make quick decisions, and slight hesitation, can lead to an accident in an instant. So, if you aren’t sure about oncoming cars, a stop sign, or a yield— wait for the space to clear, and then take your turn. However, there are plenty of defensive driving techniques and road rules as to how to handle these situations. If you find that you’re unsure, do a little research in your time off of the road.

One rule of thumb I always use for stop signs, is to ‘peel off layers’ of cars. The first person to make a full stop takes their turn, then another person, and continue this pattern from all sides of the stop. Take some time, learn standard protocol, and become a better driver. We can all do things to become better drivers. 

Watch for Blind Spots

Blind spots are one of the leading causes in accidents. Therefore, you have to know where yours are located in your vehicles. For most cars, the blind spots exist on either side towards the rear of the vehicles. Most blinds spots are worse on the right side, being that it is one opposite the driver. Therefore, you should always check over your shoulder before merging or switching lanes. In addition, defensive driving requires you to be aware of other’s blind spots as well. By staying out of their blind spots, you reduce your chances of being in an accident.

Defensive driving is all about anticipating the moves of other drivers. When you anticipate their moves, you can help prevent yourself from being in harms way. So, pay attention to the roadway, prepare for potential danger, and keep your eyes on the road. An accident can happen in any instant, do what you can to prevent them on your end.