While Northern California’s winters might not be as dramatic as other parts of the country, motorcycle riders are still cautioned to stay safe during the winter months. From poor visibility and earlier sunsets to seasonal rains and slippery roads, motorcycles can be a dangerous form of transportation.
People rely on motorcycles for numerous reasons that range from necessity to excitement. Unfortunately, while a motorcycle offers greater speed and maneuverability it cannot match the safety and stability of a car. Riders are only protected by a helmet and heavy clothing. For this reason, it is wise to follow these tips to remain safe while riding during the winter months:
- Wear appropriate clothing: Riders should take care to choose warm clothing. The hands and feet can quickly fall prey to the cold weather, becoming numb and unresponsive at the worst times. Also, bright or reflective clothing can keep you more visible to drivers sharing the road with you.
- Increase reaction distance: Rain-slicked roads can lead to a loss of traction. This can impact both steering and stopping. Reduce your speed or choose lanes that give you more distance to react to debris in the road or stopped traffic around you.
- Assume you’re invisible: While this might be good advice throughout the year, riders are cautioned to be aware of the cars and trucks around them. Assume those drivers do not see you as they are merging, changing lanes or turning.
- Avoid distractions: Again, this might be good advice to follow all year, but in the winter months when visibility is already a challenge, riders should avoid any distraction from phone conversations to taking a drink from a water bottle while on the road.
Motorcycle riders can suffer significant injuries in even a low-speed vehicle collision. Riders can experience broken bones, road rash, head injuries, back injuries or burn injuries. Severe collisions can lead to death. Do not hesitate to seek legal guidance after a motorcycle accident.