“Some cities, it’s illegal to blow grass onto streets, and I don’t know if you can pass an ordinance for the people of the city of Hamilton, when they blow their grass on the street, to blow it back to the curb,” he said. “There have been a lot of motorcycle accidents lately.”
“Grass and grass clippings are about 85 percent water, and it doesn’t matter if these clippings are wet or dry, when they’re in the street, experts say they can be a danger to motorcyclists,” he said, comparing the lack of friction to hitting an ice slick in cold weather.
Not only grass clippings, but also gravel that washes from driveways during heavy storms can be dangerous to motorcyclists, said Sgt. Wade Lewis, motor commander of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Cincinnati Metro Post in Blue Ash.
“The issue with it is it’s so sporadic, the areas in which these clippings end up out in the roadways,” Lewis said. “It’s not an issue unless you’re trying to brake on it, or you’re trying to turn.”
“If you do get into a situation where somebody’s trying to slow down to turn into their driveway and you’re on that stuff, your friction has changed from the roadway surface, and when you go to brake, things like skidding and getting into the anti-lock-braking systems on these newer bikes are going to play a factor,” Lewis said.
Lewis hasn’t personally had problems with grass, but he has with gravel, he said.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
Last year, there were 3,317 motorcycle-related crashes in Ohio, a 13 percent drop from 2017. Some 142 of them were fatal. Some safety tips from the Ohio State Highway Patrol:
- Always give motorcyclists a full lane of travel.
- Look for motorcyclists on the highway, at intersections and any time you are changing lanes.
- When driving behind a motorcycle, or any vehicle, allow plenty of space between your vehicles.
- Of the motorcyclists involved in 2018 Ohio crashes, only 41 percent were wearing helmets. Of those killed in such crashes, 33 percent were.
Also last year, 9 percent of motorcycle-involved crashes involved alcohol or drugs, twice the rate for overall crashes.