Motorcycle accidents can happen in any kind of weather. Because motorcycles offer little protection, a crash involving a car or truck can cause serious injuries or even death for the motorcyclist. Any sort of bad weather makes things even more dangerous.
Riding in bad weather should always be avoided, especially if you’re a new, inexperienced rider. Sometimes, however, things don’t go as we planned. What may have started as a pleasant ride on a sunny day can quickly change. Studies show that the weather is becoming more extreme and unpredictable. Wearing the right gear, maintaining your motorcycle and planning ahead can help keep you safe if you encounter bad weather.
Keep reading to find out more about riding your motorcycle in bad weather. If you suffered an injury or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, call the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at The Dominguez Firm today for a free consultation at 800-818-1818 today. We will fight to get you the maximum compensation you are entitled to under the law.
Riding in cold weather conditions
Winter in Southern California can include rain and yes, snow. You can be riding on Interstate 5 enjoying the hillside vistas around Santa Clarita one minute and find yourself in a freak snowstorm as you enter the Grapevineless than an hour later.
You should not ride in the snow under any circumstances, even if traffic is slow. But if you find yourself in this scenario, it’s important not to panic. Try to get to a safe area. If that’s not possible, slow down. Try to keep plenty of distance between you and the cars around you. Given the lower visibility, it will be hard for a driver to see you. Also, drivers may hydroplane, lose control of their vehicles and get into car accidents. You don’t want to get caught up in that with your motorcycle.
The other danger is ice on the road. You’ll want to go slow in this situation too. And always be on the lookout for black ice, since it can be very hard to see. However, there are certain areas where it’s more common, such as bridges and roads at higher elevations. Also, pay attention to signs such as Slippery When Wet, they’re there for a reason. While snow tires for motorcycles do exist, the best option is to completely avoid riding your motorcycle on snowy or icy roads.
Another issue that comes into play in cold weather is cold tires. Cold weather can lower tire pressure noticeably. Underinflated tires give you limited traction, making your motorcycle harder to steer and control. Check your tire pressure with a gauge, not your eyes before going out in cold weather. And be aware that stopping, even for just for 60 seconds will cause them to get cold again.
Riding in the rain
We hear so much about drought conditions in California that we forget heavy rain falls here too. Planning ahead is the first step to keeping you safer if you get caught in a downpour. First, there are many resources that can give you accurate weather forecasts. You can have email weather alerts sent directly to your phone. That way, you won’t be caught completely off guard by what you’re riding into.
If you know you’ll be riding through areas with unpredictable weather, like mountain roads, make sure your motorcycle and you can handle it:
- Consider switching to rain tires for fall and winter riding. This is especially true if you travel along mountain roads or in areas where ice or frost occur. These tires are designed to improve traction in wet conditions.
- Have your motorcycle inspected. You’ll want to ensure all of your lights, shocks, tires and brakes are in good working order.
- Wear motorcycle gear designed to keep you dry, warm and visible. Look for waterproof boots, pants, gloves and jackets. Don’t wear all black. Look for bright, reflective colors so drivers can see you more clearly.
Try not to head out when it first starts raining. It doesn’t matter if the rain is heavy or light. All the oil, grime and dirt that have accumulated mix together at the surface and create slippery roads. This holds true for cars as well. But as a motorcycle rider, you are on two wheels, not four, so your chances of wiping out and/or getting into an accident are much greater.
Be extra careful over surfaces that become slicker in the rain such as train tracks, manhole covers and steel plate road coverings. Always avoid puddles and standing water. What looks like a shallow puddle could be hiding a deep pothole. Standing water can hide all sorts of debris or worse, live electrical wires.
And just like driving in cold or icy conditions, go slow! Avoid braking or accelerating suddenly and don’t lean into turns the same way you would in good weather.
Riding when there are strong winds
Riding in strong winds can be more than just annoying. While a heavy motorcycle will handle the wind better than a lighter one, when you’re dealing with strong wind gusts or a constant wind, slow down no matter what type of motorcycle you’re on.
One of the hazards of riding in windy conditions is flying debris. That’s why it’s important to wear eye protection, not just to avoid that debris, but to keep your eyes from watering excessively too. You’ll also want comfortable gloves, a gaiter and clothing to protect you from windburn.
Be especially careful if you are riding alongside a large truck, such as a semi. They may momentarily shield you from the wind, but once you pass them, or vice versa, they create their own gust of wind, which can also be very strong.
If the wind is particularly strong, consider cutting your ride short.
Riding in extreme heat
Extreme heat presents its own particular safety issues for motorcycle riders. Keep these tips in mind when riding in the heat:
- This is probably the most important tip: stay hydrated by drinking water. Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics and will dehydrate you, so avoid them.
- Just as in cold weather, the right gear is essential when riding in the summer, especially through the desert. Contrary to what you might think, you should not wear shorts and a tank top. You’ll have no protection if you crash. And all of that exposed skin will most certainly lead to painful road rash. Instead, invest in moisture-wicking riding gear that will keep you cool and dry.
- Avoid riding during the hottest part of the day, especially if you are out in the desert.
And if you’re on a long ride, don’t forget to stop along the way. If you’re drinking your water, you’ll certainly need to take breaks. Riding in the heat can be as tiring as riding your motorcycle in the cold. So, take a breather and enjoy the scenery every once in a while.
Why you should choose the motorcycle accident attorneys at The Dominguez Firm
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s recklessness or negligence, the motorcycle accident lawyers at The Dominguez Firm can help. Our personal injury attorneys have been successfully handling all types of personal injury accident cases for over 30 years. We know that motorcycle accident injuries can be serious and even catastrophic. Some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Brain injuries, especially Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash
In 2020, the medical cost of a motorcycle accident can run into the hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars. In most cases, the victim is unable to return to work for an extended period if at all. That four or five-figure offer from the insurance company may not even cover the emergency room bill let alone lost wages and other costs associated with the accident.
Not every lawyer or law firm can handle a serious motorcycle accident case. Another attorney may refer the case out or worse, settle for less because they can’t afford to go to trial. The Dominguez Firm has the resources handle a motorcycle accident case from start to finish. We have a team of in-house investigators, an office staff of over 130 legal professionals and award-winning personal injury attorneys ready to fight for your rights.
We also know that people tend to have a bias against motorcyclists and often think they are at fault for their accidents, unfair as that sounds. We have the experience to counter those doubts regarding liability successfully, be it in mediation or at trial in front of a jury.
Call the motorcycle accident lawyer at The Dominguez Firm
The Dominguez Firm has recovered over $750 million in settlements and verdicts for clients across a variety of practice areas, including motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, truck accidents, premises liability and other categories. Let us put our winning track record to work for you.
If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident and are their next of kin, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible. Making those responsible pay for their behavior can help you and your family find a sense of closure and help financially at such a difficult time.
If you’re worried about the cost of hiring the motorcycle accident attorneys at The Dominguez Firm, don’t be. We work on a contingency basis. That means you don’t have any upfront costs or hidden fees to deal with. We receive a percentage of your settlement or verdict. That percentage will be clearly stated in the client representation agreement you sign with us. And in the unlikely event we don’t recover any compensation for you, you owe us nothing. You win or you don’t pay!
Don’t delay, call The Dominguez Firm today for a free consultation regarding your motorcycle accident at 800-818-1818.
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— Ashley Magana
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