- Michigan is a popular group motorcycling destination, especially during the fall months when the seasonal colors are changing, and there are fewer motorists on the road.
- Decide on the best Michigan destination comfortable for all and review ride safety guidelines as a group to help ensure the smoothest ride for everyone.
- When riding as a group, avoid passing other riders or tailgating and allow experienced riders to travel in the front and the back.
- A total of 5,172 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2017 and only about half of those fatally injured were wearing a helmet.
7 Ways You Can Prepare Your Group for A Fall Motorcycle Ride in Michigan
Motorcycle riders involved in an accident are incredibly vulnerable to severe injuries or death compared to those who travel in closed passenger vehicles making them 28 times more likely to experience a fatal crash. The fall months of September and October serve as popular times for touring and group motorcycling. But motorcyclists should only participate in group rides if everyone feels comfortable on their bikes, can identify road hazards and understands the rules and habits within their riding group.
If your group doesn’t have a set of rules to review before planning a trip, the motorcycle accident injury attorneys at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm have created this brief guide to help everyone safely enjoy their next ride through Michigan.
- Meet Pre-Ride and Plan a Route Everyone is Comfortable With
Before your bikes hit the pavement, be sure to meet up and pick an ideal route that everyone is comfortable traveling. Be sure to plan your stops in the event of an emergency or someone falling behind.
If your group is looking for a route to travel this fall, the motorcycle enthusiasts at our office have identified a few popular paths along Michigan’s coastline, peninsula and inland highways.
- Tunnel of Trees Road
- Michigan’s Central Lake Michigan Scenic Tour
- The South Coast of the Upper Peninsula
- Michigan’s Sunrise Coast (US 23 from Tawas City to Alpena)
- Rochester Road South of Leonard
- Richland to Shelbyville
- New Buffalo on Red Arrow Highway
- M-22 from Arcadia to Frankfort
- Ignace to Manistique (US 2)
- Curly Lewis Memorial Highway
- Copper Harbor Run (Keweenaw Peninsula)
- North Lansing Loop
- Michigan’s East Coast Cruise
- From Coldwater to Hell (US 12 formerly known as the Saulk Trail)
- River Road Scenic Byway (AuSable River to Oscoda)
- Be Seen, Ride Predictable
Other motorists may naturally feel anxious seeing a group of motorcycles traveling alongside them. Before leaving on a group ride, review the hand signals so all riders can communicate and stay in a predictable pattern. It is easier for other motorists to see a group of motorcycles riding in a formation vs single riders.
Motorcyclists are typically to blame for their accident injuries, but that is not always the case. Your group can protect themselves by staying alert and not distracted, and respectful when sharing the road with other vehicles. Use the most common hand signals provided by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation as a refresher for even the most seasoned riders in your group.
- Keep Experienced Riders in the Front and Back
Lead and sweep riders should be the most experienced riders and head up the front and the back of the group.
- Lead riders look ahead for changes in traffic and road conditions and are know how to communicate effectively with other riders.
- The sweep rider is the last in the group and just as important as the lead as they set the pace for the group.
- Less experienced riders or those new to group riding are best traveling just behind the leader.
- Ride Sober
Contrary to what some believe, drunk or impaired riders aren’t usually a factor in causing motorcycle crashes. In 2018, a 53-year-old driver of a motorcycle and his 45-year-old passenger were killed when their bike collided with a drunk driver of a 2003 Dodge Neon on M-125 in LaSalle Township. First responders report the victims were sober, wearing crash gear including motorcycle helmets, but died from injuries caused from being thrown from their motorcycle.
Don’t reverse this statistic. Be a responsible motorcyclist by following the law and never ride after drinking or doing drugs.
- Travel in Staggered Formation
It’s not a good idea to ride directly alongside another rider in the same lane. Instead, stay in a formation where the lead rider will travel in the lane’s left side, and the second rider will stay at least one second back and ride in the right side of the road. Down the line, other riders will keep at least a two second distance from the second rider in the right side of the lane, and so on. Experts say it is best to move to single formation only when riding in curves, turning, and entering or leaving freeways or highways.
- Be Ready to Navigate Intersections
Intersections present the highest risk for motorcyclists in a group and often create the scene for tragic motorcycle accidents. Turning at an intersection with a left turn signal arrow will require riders to travel in a tighter formation. Discuss a meet-up location along your route if an intersection or traffic light splits the group up and never rush through a traffic light.
- Wear a Helmet
Although helmet use is an important preventive measure against traumatic brain injuries which can lead to paralysis, permanent disability, or even death, Michigan is a state that has a helmet law covering only riders under 18. Eight years have passed since the repeal of Michigan’s Motorcycle Helmet Law and head injuries to riders have increased by 14 percent, according to a University of Michigan study.
We suggest always wearing a helmet, but even if you were not, you may still have a strong personal injury case and could recoup a considerable portion of your medical expenses, as well as damages for lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Michigan motorcycle accident injury cases demand specific detail and expertise but even an initial consultation with an attorney can provide the opportunity for you to discuss your claim and inform you of all the legal options.
Contact Us Now About Your Motorcycle Accident Injury
If you or your someone in your motorcycling family is suffering from physical and emotional pain due to an injury caused by another motorist, the motorcycle accident attorneys at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm can help.
Please call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form. And remember, you pay nothing until we settle your motorcycle accident case.