Beware of Autumn Leaves

Beware of leaves on the road

Whilst out riding in the Borders at the weekend, it was very clear to me that Autumn had most definitely arrived. Not only was I wearing several more layers compared to a few weeks ago, but the scenery around me had noticeably changed.

Whilst the leaves on the trees are turning that wonderful orangey yellow colour and look quite spectacular, they are also starting to fall from the trees onto the roads. That can present a hazard to motorcyclists.

When leaves accumulate on the road and become wet, they can become extremely slippery, making road conditions treacherous. If the temperature drops below freezing, the wet leaves freeze and that compounds the problem. Besides reducing the bike's traction, causing skidding and possibly loss of control, leaves often cover the painted road markings, making it difficult to know the locations of the lanes.

Tips for Motorcyclists

  • Slow down if you are riding on a road covered with leaves, especially when riding around bends.
  • Leaves make it difficult to see potholes and bumps in the road, so taking a more central road position on bends is wise.
  • Keep a greater distance between you and the car in front of you.
  • Allow yourself plenty of room to stop in an emergency.
  • Plan ahead and look up for accumulations of trees on the horizon. 

Recognising a potential hazard like leaves on the road and taking the appropriate actions as mentioned above should keep you rubber side down and allow you to continue to enjoy your Autumn riding.

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