Follow These Safety Guidelines to Safely Ride Your Motorcycle in the Winter Months in Washington
In the winter months in Washington State, many motorcycle enthusiasts will have already cleaned, covered, and put their bikes away until spring when the temperatures are warmer and the roads are safer. Others motorcyclists ride their bikes year round, either because it is their primary mode of transportation or because they enjoy riding so much that they do not want to stop doing it during the colder months. However, riding a motorcycle in the winter can be dangerous and requires additional driving skills to avoid causing a motorcycle accident.
Top Winter-Weather Motorcycle Riding Safety Tips
While it is possible to ride your bike in wintery conditions and snow, it is extremely important to do so with safety in mind. Here are safety tips for riding a motorcycle in snow and ice that will help you avoid an accident:
Never assume other vehicles see you. Motorcycles are less visible because of their smaller size, and many motorists do not watch carefully enough for them. Truck and passenger vehicle drivers are even less likely to see you in the winter, when visibility can be lower and they do not expect motorcycles to be on the road.
Do not ride in snow. If you know it is going to snow, do not ride your motorcycle. Visibility will be extremely poor and the roads will become too snowy and icy for you to safely stop and control your bike.
Slow down and give vehicles more room. Just like when you are driving any vehicle in wintery conditions, the two best things you can do to prevent an accident are slowing down and putting more distance between you and the next car on the road. This is especially important because cold tires on a motorcycle have less traction, and you may need additional time to slow and stop.
Wear appropriate gear. Because you will be much more exposed to winter weather on a motorcycle, you need to wear appropriate winter gear and sufficient layers of clothing. Heavy-duty gear you need includes pants, boots, jacket, gloves, and a full-face DOT-approved helmet. You may also consider investing in heated pants, gloves, and jackets if you ride your motorcycle regularly in the winter.
Beware sand and salt. Many towns and cities put down sand and salt to add traction to the roads and melt ice. While this is helpful to most drivers, it can be a danger to bikers, who can find it reduces the motorcycle’s traction. In addition, salt can cause significant rust damage to a motorcycle.
Have a towing service. Accidents are more likely to happen in the winter months. You should be prepared by having a towing service that you can call if necessary.
While following these safety tips can reduce the chances that you will be the victim of a motorcycle accident, this does not guarantee that a negligent driver will not cause you to suffer injuries in a wreck. Fortunately, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call our office to schedule your free consultation to learn about your legal options.