Bad Weather Is The Least of Your Worries When You Ride Your Bike
The recent bad weather around these parts always served to reminded me that riding is a dangerous proposition and bikers are even more vulnerable at night. Throw in a little rain – particularly if you live in an urban area and commute by motorcycle – and you’ve got a recipe for road rash.
When are you most vulnerable to stupid things cagers do? At an intersection and merging onto a freeway. Merging into traffic is hazardous for riders at any time, but doubly so in wet or dark conditions. Develop a relatively cautious approach when the weather sucks, but having your senses tuned to a fine pitch is the key to survival. But not everyone lives in a place on the outer frontiers of passable year-round, weather conditions.
And that doesn’t necessarily make it safer for them when they ride.
Although motorcyclists in California get to ride in great weather and through some beautiful scenery, the state is still among the most dangerous for bikers, regardless of the weather.
Dan Kamionkowski, Motorcycle Product Manager for Progressive Insurance, says California ranked nearly last in the nation as a haven for motorcyclists. Why? California’s high gas prices, population density, motorcycle accident rates and poor road conditions throughout the state are all to blame.
Not an ideal place for motorcyclists.
WINTER MOTORCYCLE INSURANCE TIP: Save money by reducing your coverage in the winter if your bike is off the road. A quick phone call or an online session can save you hundreds of dollars, so don’t put it off and make the call to your insurance company right now…
So how do you deal with that? Kamionkowski said his company is working on that through better science.
“We pulled together what we consider to be important data to help bikers make better riding decisions,” Kamionkowski said. “It’s not the end-all-be-all list of variables, for sure; since preferences vary from rider to rider, but we hope it will help riders plan their next road trip.”
Smart Growth America says only 30 percent of California highways are in good shape.No surprise there.
As a result, California’s roads are not only undesirable, but they can be dangerous.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that California notches the most motorcycle fatalities in the country — and the number of fatalities around that state has been steadily on the rise for the last ten years.
Sobering news, at best…
And Tips For Making Sure You’re Ready for Next Season:
- Shop around. Prices can vary from company to company, so shop around. Make sure you’re buying from a national carrier who offers specialized motorcycle insurance. Don’t just add your bike to your car insurance policy. Another tip: If you purchase comprehensive and collision coverage, consider raising your deductibles. This can lower the cost of your physical damage overage.
- Cover customized parts. Parts such as chrome plating, a new paint job, saddlebags, or special rims usually increase the value of your bike. If you’ve added custom parts or equipment, make sure they’re protected.
- Make sure your insurance policy is still in force. Some companies have a winter layaway period when some coverages are restricted. Check with your insurance company to see if you have a type of limited coverage.
- Update your policy. Let your insurance company know about any changes such as additional riders, a new address or customized parts. A quick call to your independent agent can secure coverage that meets your needs.
- If you don’t need it, drop it. If you own an older bike, check its value. Don’t pay for coverage that you don’t need. Consider dropping collision coverage if the premium exceeds 10 percent of the bike’s market value. Understand, however, that you won’t be covered if your bike overturns or collides with another object.