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Lower temperatures bring more bikers to Arizona freeways

PHOENIX — Fall is here and Phoenix saw its coolest morning in more than four months Monday.

The cooler mornings — and gas prices well above $3 per gallon — have more motorcycle riders taking to Valley freeways. But as we saw Monday with several crashes involving motorcycles, it can a dangerous time of the year for the bikers.

Drivers of cars, trucks and big rigs need to get used to the motorcycles again after a long summer when fewer of them were on the roadways. Phillip McKee with Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson in Phoenix said there’s a lot riders can do to make themselves more visible.

“Clothing, lighting and sound,” he said. “Believe it or not, a lot of people hear the motorcycles loud exhaust systems and sometimes that allows riders to be heard before they’re seen.”

We’re all vulnerable to drivers who are busy texting and motorcyclists are no exception. The same applies to tailgaters.

“A lot of times I see a car following a motorcycle very closely,” said McKee. “You’d think they would give the same space as they do with a car but that’s not always the case.”