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How to Travel Ohio’s Scenic Routes Safely on Your Motorcycle

May 27, 2024

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Ohio’s scenic routes offer motorcyclists some of the most beautiful vistas in the country to explore on two wheels. From the winding paths of the Hocking Hills to the serene stretches along the Lake Erie shoreline, each route presents an opportunity for adventure and discovery.

However, the beauty and thrill of these journeys come with their own set of challenges, including the risk of serious accidents. To help keep you and other motorcyclists safe this spring and summer, we’ve prepared a list of tips you should follow during your trip throughout the Buckeye State.

Prepare Your Motorcycle

Before setting off, ensure your motorcycle is in prime condition. No matter how long you’ll be gone or how far you’re traveling, you should check your bike’s tire pressure, brakes, lights, and fluid levels.

Make sure your motorcycle is well-maintained year-round, and that any necessary repairs or adjustments have been made before you leave. This not only ensures your safety, but also enhances your enjoyment of your ride.

Wear Appropriate Gear

Protective gear is your best defense against injuries in the event of an accident. Always wear a helmet with face protection, gloves, a durable jacket, long pants, and over-the-ankle closed-toe footwear.

Reflective gear is also recommended, especially for rides during dawn, dusk, or at night, to increase your visibility to other drivers. Ensure that the equipment you wear is comfortable for long periods of time and can be worn without overheating.

Know Your Route

Familiarize yourself with your chosen scenic route beforehand. Understanding the types of roads, potential hazards, and weather conditions you might encounter can help you prepare adequately.

Use maps and GPS, but also consider consulting with local riders or forums for first-hand advice and insights. Be ready to take detours if necessary, as crashes, road work, and road closures can force you off of your planned route.

Ride According to Weather Conditions

Ohio’s weather can be unpredictable, especially in transitional times of year like May and June. Check the weather forecast before departing and be prepared for sudden changes. Wet roads, fog, and fallen leaves can significantly affect traction and visibility.

Adjust your speed accordingly and maintain a safe following distance. Stop and pull over in a safe location during extremely adverse conditions, such as torrential rain and strong winds.

Practice Defensive Riding

Always assume you are invisible to other drivers, and always be on the lookout for vehicles entering your path, especially when you are turning left.

Keep a safe distance from other vehicles, and be particularly cautious at intersections, as this is where a significant number of motorcycle accidents occur. Use your signals well in advance of making a turn or changing lanes, and always be prepared for the unexpected, especially distracted drivers.

Take Breaks and Stay Hydrated

Long rides can be physically demanding. Take regular breaks to rest and hydrate, especially during hot weather. This helps maintain your focus and concentration, which are crucial for safe riding.

Don’t push yourself too hard if you’re riding a long distance in a single stretch, and budget for the possibility of stopping for the night and staying in a hotel or motel.

Ride with a Friend or Group

If you’re new to riding or unfamiliar with Ohio’s scenic routes, consider joining a local motorcycle club or group, or ask other experienced motorcyclists to join you for part or all of your trip.

Riding with others can enhance the experience and provide additional safety through numbers. Group riding requires discipline and a clear understanding of group riding protocols, so make sure you’re informed before joining in.

Know What to Do in Case of a Crash

Despite all precautions, crashes can happen. It’s important to know what to do in case of an accident—check for injuries, call emergency services, file a police report, take photos of the scene, and obtain contact information from witnesses and other parties involved.

After receiving medical attention, it’s important to call an experienced Cleveland motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. That’s because insurance companies rarely give motorcyclists a fair shake, and their bias often results in them blaming riders for crashes that weren’t their fault.

Our Cleveland Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Are Here to Help

Most scenic tours through our state go off without a hitch, including those on two wheels. But some riders are simply unlucky, especially when they cross paths with negligent, distracted, and careless drivers.

If you or someone you love is injured in a crash caused by another driver, you need experienced and aggressive legal representation. At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, our firm has nearly 100 years of experience protecting the rights of injured victims throughout Ohio, and we know the unique challenges injured riders face. Contact us anytime for a free consultation.

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