Long before Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper brought cross-country trips into the mainstream, motorcycle enthusiasts had found peace and tranquility on the open road. This love of the wind in your hair and the highway stretching endlessly before you still exists today all across America and even in many parts of the world. Of course, accidents can happen on any long trip, so it’s important that you follow a few simple tips that will keep you safe.
Plan Your Route
Although it’s great to feel a sense of freedom on the open road, you don’t want to delay your trip by entering an area with construction or other such things that could end up delaying your trip. You also want to set daily goals so that you can give yourself extra time to get adequate rest on your trip and enjoy some of the sights along the way. You can be flexible with your plan, but creating a basic framework to go by will make things more relaxed in the long run.
Check the Weather Conditions
Running into unexpected, inclement weather can ruin a trip, especially since motorcycles and their riders have less protection against adverse conditions on the road. Once you’ve planned your route, check the weather forecast to make sure that you’re not likely to run into anything you can’t handle and schedule your trip and stops accordingly.
Service Your Bike
Your bike should be in tip-top shape any time you drive it, but on a road trip, this is especially important. You need to examine the tires for wear, change the oil if necessary, check the battery, and test the brakes and cables. If you’re not confident with your own maintenance skills, take it to a shop for a quick check-up and let them know you’ll be traveling a long distance.
Consider Getting a Friend to Join You
Just like they told us when we were kids, the “buddy system” can be a lifesaver. Although there’s something to be said about being a lone wolf out on the open road, traveling with a friend can make the trip more enjoyable and definitely quite a bit safer. This is especially a good idea when you’ll be away from civilization for an extended period of time. If you can’t find someone else to join you on your ride, be sure to let friends or family members know the route you plan to take and when you plan to return.
If you’re even thinking about a cross-country motorcycle trip, you probably know much more about the right type of gear to wear than we could ever tell you. Even though you may be in warm weather, the idea is to protect yourself, which is why thick pants, a jacket, boots, gloves, and a helmet are essential safety equipment.
Take Along a Few Necessities
In addition to clothing that keeps you protected from the elements and in case of an accident, you also want to pack a few extra things. Equipment such as a GPS, flashlight, phone charger, small tool kit, and first aid kit will go a long way to making your trip go smoothly despite any hiccups you may experience on the trip.
Get Plenty of Rest Along the Way
Driving while you’re sleepy is a great way to get into an accident. This is especially true when you’re on a motorcycle, since one slip can send you sprawling on the ground. Schedule overnight stops early each evening and rest during the day as needed. Also be sure to keep your energy up by drinking water and eating on a regular basis.
The attorneys at Mintz Law Firm love the open road and hope that everything on your cross-country trip goes smoothly. If you do find yourself in an accident, however, be sure to reach out to our firm right away and we’ll fight for your rights. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.