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A street smart motorcycle rider is always aware that there's little room for error on a cycle and that mental and physical preparation can mean the difference between a safe, enjoyable ride and a potentially disastrous one.
Inclement weather and road surface hazards can force you into taking actions and making split second decisions with very little warning.
Work zones present a hazard to all drivers but even more so for motorcycle riders. Lacking four-wheel stability, the motorcycle rider must be especially mindful of hazards and their potential for danger.
Watch for signs and flaggers
They give clear, advance warning that crews are working ahead. Be aware that you are entering a dangerous area and that you may be required to take quick action. Cars will be slowing down. Vehicles may be merging or passing. Drivers can be confused and irritated.
So don't let your guard down. Many work zone related crashes occur before or after the actual work zone where cars are slowing down and merging or speeding up to resume regular highway travel. All the caution you observe in regular riding should be doubled in and around work zones.
Remember that drivers have more on their minds, slow, congested traffic, construction equipment, poor road surfaces and so forth. They may be even less likely than usual to take you into full account.
And keep a sharp eye on the road surface. Construction zones can throw a surprise in your path quicker than you think!
Work zone road hazards and how to avoid them
Sand or gravel on pavement/pea gravel and sealer - Slow down, don't make sudden turns, brake lightly in a straight line.
Scored or grooved pavement - Head and eyes up. Go slow. Don't fight the handle bars. Keep a steady throttle
Oil, fresh tar, soft black crack filler - Avoid if possible. Go slow and avoid sudden moves.
Rippled and uneven temporary pavement - Scan pavement, pick the smoothest line. Cross slowly and carefully.
Long stretches of sand or gravel - Downshift. Keep speed steady.
Objects in the road - Scan well ahead. Go around if possible. Increase following distance to allow maneuvering room.
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Greg Patzer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Last modified: June 5, 2013
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