As winter approaches, those who rely on a motorcycle for getting around face the challenge of riding in cold weather conditions. The following best practices will help riders who are braving winter conditions in Pennsylvania—some for the very first time.
Wear Proper Clothing
In the warmer months, proper clothing is an essential part of protecting riders in the event of an accident. During the winter months, clothing protects riders from the weather conditions as much as it protects from accidents. Heated jackets, full-coverage helmets, gloves, and waterproof boots are essential components to stay warm on the road.
Cold Weather Changes Tire Safety
When the rubber of a tire cools, it provides significantly less traction. During the coldest months, even a brief stop at a red light can cool tires to dangerous temperatures. As a result, riding in cold conditions with absolute caution is a must—even experienced riders get hurt when icy weather is a factor. Avoid swerving between lanes and quickly accelerating—these maneuvers can cause a dangerous loss of control in cold weather. Finally, be certain that your tire’s tread is not worn. Having treads of adequate depth will help your tires properly channel water and prevent loss of control in wet conditions.
Say No to Snow
If you expect it to snow or if it is already snowing, do not attempt to ride your motorcycle. While motorcycles can handle wet conditions, they are no match for the slickness that snow adds to roads. If it begins to snow, reduce your speed to deal with bad visibility and slick conditions. If possible, find nearby shelter from the snow until it subsides.
While this may seem obvious, some motorcyclists love the agility of their ride and need to be reminded to take things slow in winter conditions. Slick roads make corners dangerous and demand that riders exercise more caution than usual. Additionally, many who drive cars are typically bad at sharing the road with motorcycles in warm weather. When the weather is cold, these drivers are even more distracted and likely to collide with a motorcyclist. In cold conditions, motorcyclists must defensively more than usual.
Watch for Road Hazards
In the winter, the road may be covered with salt to help clear the roads of snow and ice. Unfortunately, this road-clearing tactic can be dangerous for those who are on two wheels. Look out for salt and, when it is on the road, treat it with the same amount of caution that you would give ice. Additionally, look out for roads that have been damaged by heavy snow plows.
Have a Plan
If you regularly ride in a certain area, look up a towing service that tows motorcycles. Doing so will give you options should the weather become too severe to ride in. When it is snowing, being able to arrive home safely is worth the cost of a tow.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, call the Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorneys at Handler, Henning, & Rosenberg. Since 1922, we have served Central Pennsylvania and those who need help after experiencing life-altering accidents. Our personal injury lawyers have won tens of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for clients. If you have been injured by the neglect of another, defective motorcycle parts, or other issues, our firm will fight for the compensation that you deserve.
Call HHR today for a free consultation at (888) 498-3023. If we take your case, you don't pay any fees unless we win!