Eight Ways to Stay Safe When Riding in Cold Weather
When the days are short and the weather frigid, motorcyclists who want to keep riding need to take extra precautions to try to avoid weather-related accidents.
Here are eight ways you can reduce your chances of sustaining an injury in a motorcycle accident this winter.
Wear Bright Colors, Especially When Snow is on the Ground
During the short days of winter, more motorists are on the road at dusk and dawn when changing light conditions make it harder to see. Motorcyclists should wear bright colors to make themselves as visible as possible.
Wear Layers to Protect Yourself from the Cold
Riding in cold weather increases the risk of developing hypothermia. Wearing multiple layers helps trap body heat and keeps you warmer. Consider wearing two layers of motorcycle gloves: microfiber inner gloves and outer gloves with long gauntlet-style cuffs that close snuggly to keep cold air from blowing up your sleeves. The cold air in your face can blur your vision, so it’s important to wear good quality goggles, glasses or a face shield to protect your face.
Take Extra Precautions when Riding through Shady Areas
The twisty mountain roads of western North Carolina have a lot of shady spots. When the sunlight does not reach a patch of ice to melt it, the slick spot can remain a hazard long after other roads have cleared. Take care when riding through shady areas. Slow down, remain vigilant for black ice and take turns less sharply.
Be Mindful of the Sun’s Position
When the winter sun is low in the sky, its glare can be temporarily blinding. Drivers can have a very difficult time seeing motorcyclists if the sun is behind the rider and the motorist is staring into the sun. Be aware of the sun’s position and drive defensively. Do not automatically assume other motorists see you. Make yourself as visible to cars as possible through lights, reflectors, and contrasting colors.
Have Your Phone Charged Before You Head Out to Ride
If you break down, you will need to call for help. Your phone also can provide you with a much-needed map and GPS if you are lost. If you are in an accident, you can use your phone to take photos of the incident and your injury.
If You Store Your Bike, Prepare It for Winter
Before winter begins, take the time to winterize your bike. Bikebandit.com provides a comprehensive winterization guide for motorcyclists.
Share the Road
When winter weather affects the roads, you should slow down, approach intersections with caution, look twice before turning, and give other vehicles a greater following distance. Heavier vehicles need more space to come to a complete stop, and wet pavement increases the braking distance.
When in Doubt, Don’t Go Out
Sometimes, the conditions outside are just too hazardous for you to ride your motorcycle safely. On days when freezing rain or snow is forecast, leave the motorcycle in the garage. While snow and ice remains on the road, it is best to take another form of transportation if you must travel on these days.
Contact Us If You Were in a Motorcycle Accident
Even if you take all the necessary precautions to protect yourself this winter, you cannot prevent other motorists being careless or causing a crash. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another motorist in western North Carolina or South Carolina, seek medical care and then contact The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, P.C. Mr. Taylor is an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer and an experienced rider who can help you seek the compensation you deserve.