In winter, it is critical for motorcyclists to take extra precautions to ensure their safety on the road. Cold temperatures, snow, and ice can all create hazardous conditions that make riding more challenging. Here are some tips to help you stay safe during the winter months.
Check Your Tires
Before going out on the road, double-check that your tires are properly inflated and have adequate tread depth. Riding on underinflated or worn tires can increase your chances of losing traction on icy or wet roads. Switching to winter tires is also an option, and they are designed to provide better grip in cold and snowy conditions.
Avoid Riding in Snow or Ice
While riding in the snow or ice may be tempting, avoid these conditions whenever possible. Snow and ice can make it very challenging to control your bike and increase the chances of sliding and losing control. If you must ride in these conditions, reduce your speed and be extra cautious. If a collision does occur, speak to a Charleston, WV motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Watch Out for Black Ice
Black ice is a thin layer of transparent ice that can form on roads and is almost invisible to the naked eye. Therefore, it is critical to be on the lookout for black ice, especially on bridges and overpasses, and reduce your speed accordingly. If you do hit a patch of black ice, try to maintain a steady speed and avoid sudden movements or braking.
Keep Your Bike Maintained
Regular maintenance is always important, but especially during the winter months. For example
- Cold temperatures can put extra strain on a bike’s battery, so check its level of charge and holding capacity.
- Consider using a battery tender if you plan on storing your bike for an extended period of time.
- Drop a few ounces of gas preservative into the tank before each fill up if you are not riding as much as usual since fuel degrades over time.
- Change the oil and filter at half the recommended interval during the winter months.
- Check the brakes, lights, and other critical components to be sure they are in good working order before riding.
Winter weather can make it harder for other drivers to see you on the road. The lights on a bike must be working properly, and consider wearing reflective gear to increase your visibility. Another way to prevent accidents is to avoid riding in blind spots and use hand signals to communicate your intentions to other drivers.
Wear Protective Gear
Wearing protective gear can help minimize the risk of injury or reduce their severity if an accident happens. For example, a good-quality leather jacket, gloves, sturdy boots, leather pants, eye protection, and body armor. Reflective clothing or helmets with reflective strips can also improve your visibility. However, a helmet is the most important piece of protective gear. Motorcycle accidents can result in severe head injuries, which can be life-threatening or cause permanent brain damage. Wearing a helmet can provide crucial protection for the head and reduce the risk of injury. If you are hurt in a crash, reach out to a personal injury lawyer in Charleston, WV as soon as you are able to.