Mechanical breakdowns tend to happen more frequently to car drivers than to motorcycle riders, and it isn’t difficult to understand why: motorcycle owners tend to pay more attention to maintenance issues because bikes lack the temporary shelter cars provide when drivers get stranded. Breaking down while riding in the city isn’t so bad. It’s far more problematic when this happens on the freeway or country roads. Here are a few steps motorcycle riders should follow in case of a breakdown.
Find a Safe Place to Stop
Finding a safe place to stop is the most challenging aspect of breaking down when you’re on two wheels. You need to avoid getting stranded on the median, which means you should maneuver toward the shoulder. Turn on every flashing light you have and exaggerate your intention to change lanes and pull over. The idea is to let drivers know you must reach an emergency lane or the shoulder. You should look for a flat spot where no vehicles are likely to come near. If an off-ramp exit leading to a gas station can be reasonably reached by coasting, head in that direction while staying to the right and signaling to drivers that they should pass you.
Call for Help
Once you’ve found a place where you won’t obstruct traffic, make sure you’re visible to other people on the road. Keep your flashing lights on and fire up flares if you happen to have some. Use your illuminated smartphone screen if you must. Once you know you can be easily seen, make a call requesting assistance. If you have friends or loved ones in town, they should be the first to know about your situation. If they aren’t able to help, there are other possible options.
Get Aid from The California Freeway Service Patrol (FSP)
Don’t be surprised if you see an FSP tow truck coming to your assistance shortly after you stop. They won’t be concerned about whether you have motorcycle insurance. San Diego drivers and bikers are provided this service by the California Highway Patrol and CalTrans. In many cases, tow truck drivers on patrol spot stranded motorists themselves. In other cases, they’re alerted by means of traffic surveillance cameras or CHP aircraft. You can also reach the FSP by dialing 5-1-1 or using a roadside call box, but please note: this is only for mechanical assistance, because they won’t tow your motorcycle.
Try Private Roadside Assistance
Call your insurance company even if you don’t have a roadside assistance clause as part of your policy. They can recommend a service, and you can consider adding this important provision later. The FSP can also recommend a service. Motorcycle riding clubs usually include roadside assistance as part of their membership options, but you’ll be better off adding this feature to your insurance policy, since it may also cover the cost of repairs and even incidental expenses such as meals and lodging if you’re stranded far away from home.
Breaking down on the road is never fun for anyone, but it can be especially stressful and dangerous for motorcycle riders. If you break down while you’re riding, following these suggestions can make the experience a lot less nerve-racking. One of the most important things for any motorcycle owner is to make sure you’re covered by motorcycle insurance. You can trust Altra Insurance with almost all of your insurance needs, including motorcycle, homeowners, and auto insurance. San Diego families can Call our friendly staff today at (800) 719-9972 to ask about our services or schedule an appointment.