Road Safety

Road hazards increase risk

Slippery surfaces reduce friction between vehicles’ tires and road surface.

Be careful of wet pavement, oil slicks, wet metal, such as manhole covers and bridge gratings, and snow and ice. If you cannot avoid riding on slippery surfaces:

  • Reduce your speed.
  • Use both brakes smoothly and gradually.
  • Avoid sudden moves.
  • Shift to a lower gear for better traction and release the clutch gradually.

Loose material on road surfaces, such as sand, gravel, mud or leaves, may make paved roads slippery. When approaching loose material on a roadway:

  • Reduce your speed.
  • Grip your handlebars firmly.
  • Raise your body slightly off the seat for better balance and move slightly to the rear for better traction.
  • Keep your arms and wrists loose to permit the front wheel to move a little, as it likely will.
  • Keep your feet on the foot pegs.
  • Maintain an even and constant throttle position.

Try to avoid crossing rough surfaces such as bumps, broken pavement or potholes. If you cannot avoid them:

  • Keep your vehicle as upright as possible and reduce speed.
  • Stand up slightly on the foot pegs with your knees flexed to absorb the impact. Keep your arms relaxed and your head up.
  • You can lighten the front wheel by leaning slightly backward, accelerating as you meet the bump.

When riding over grated surfaces, as are found on some bridges, your vehicle will tend to vibrate and wander back and forth. Don’t try to counter this movement, but keep your speed constant and ride straight across.

It isn’t necessary to cross railway tracks head-on at a full 90-degrees. An angle of 45 degrees or more is enough and will eliminate the need for swerving.