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Motorcycle safety in dangerous weather

Even though it doesn’t feel like it right now, our Maryland roads will soon turn bad. Motorcycle riders and drivers alike will soon have to face wind, rain and shorter days. Past that, there will be ice and snow. Is it possible to stay safe when riding conditions turn bad?

Motorcycle riders are always at risk for deadly motor vehicle collisions. From equipment failures to other drivers simply not seeing them, the threat of an accident seems to always loom large. As summer weather melts into fall, riders will now have to factor wet weather, falling leaves and diminished visibility into how they prepare for a motorcycle commute.

Riders will need to account for wet, cold and windy weather.

  • Riding in wet weather: This could be one of the most dangerous situations as wet roads dramatically reduce traction which decreases the rider’s maneuverability, no matter age or experience level. There are three tips to remember:
    • In general, reduce your speed to give yourself more reaction time to account for the loss of traction.
    • Avoid puddles as you don’t truly know how deep they are – is it a pothole or simply a small dent in the road?
    • If possible, ride in the tire track of a vehicle in front of you as tire treads will push water off to the sides, giving you a clearer shot at the dry pavement underneath.
  • Riding in windy conditions: The wind can quickly push a rider out of their lane or impact their balance. Many riders make it a habit to watch trees or tall grass to gauge the wind’s speed and direction and ride accordingly. One suggestion is to lean into the wind to avoid tipping, and to take occasional breaks as riding in the wind can be mentally and physically taxing.
  • Riding in cold weather: Soon, it will become important to watch the weather reports before leaving to ride to work or school or to run errands. Cold weather can mean numbness in the extremities and even distractions while on the road.

Motorcycle riders tend to suffer the most severe injuries in a collision. From brain trauma, to spinal cord damage to amputation, riders any sort of protection outside of thick clothing and a helmet. If you were injured in a motorcycle crash, it is wise to discuss your legal options with an experienced personal injury attorney.