One of the biggest risks presented to motorcyclists riding the beautiful roadways of Middle Tennessee are driveways.
Driveways present risks of several types to motorcyclists. The most obvious risk is that a car, truck, tractor or other vehicle will pull out onto the road and put the motorcyclist in danger, resulting either in a direct impact, forcing the motorcyclist in the other lane of traffic and the danger in that lane, or causing the motorcyclist to lay the bike down to avoid an accident.
The other risk is less obvious, but any person who has ever road a motorcycle knows exactly what I talking about: gravel on the roadway that washed off a gravel driveway or was pulled off the driveway by driveway traffic.
Bikers need to be vigilant at every driveway, particularly those where a person in a vehicle in the driveway has his or her view obstructed by a sign, bushes, or other vehicles. Make eye contact with the vehicle operator as you approach the driveway and, if you cannot, assume that the driver has not seen you.
As you approach gravel driveways, look for gravel on the roadway and reduce speed accordingly. Avoid the gravel if you can do so safely.
Riding a motorcycle is a wonderful experience, but defensive driving is an absolute necessity. This means taking special care at driveways, especially gravel driveways.