When the roads are covered with ice, snow, and sleet, it's dangerous for any driver. However, motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to road hazards in the winter because their vehicle is less stable and offers less protection when compared to a passenger car or truck. One wrong move on a slippery road could lead to an accident, so all motorcyclists should be aware of these safety tips for riding during the winter months.
Watch Out for Black Ice
The safest way to avoid a motorcycle accident would be to stay home during bad weather. If you have to travel, your top hazard to watch out for is ice on the road. Black ice is thin and transparent on the road, making it hard to spot, so be wary of wet and frozen spots on the road, especially early in the morning. You should travel at a safe speed, which may be below the speed limit. In addition, be attentive to the cars behind you because it's easy to get rear-ended if a car slides on the ice or doesn't leave enough stopping distance when you're traveling slowly.
Be Wary of Sand and Salt on the Road
In addition to slippery roads, salty roads can lead to a motorcycle accident. Riding over salt, sand, or other gritty substances designed to melt ice can cause your wheels to slide or skid and make you lose control. Make sure to approach turns slowly to maintain control over your bike.
Wear Seasonal Protective Gear
It's common sense to wear a motorcycle helmet and jacket to protect you in the event of an accident, but this gear is especially important during winter to keep you safe from the elements. Unlike cars that have windshield wipers to clear snow and rain, you'll have to rely on your gear to maintain visibility in snowy conditions. Make sure that your helmet or goggles don't fog up or impair your vision. In addition, you'll want an insulated and waterproof jacket and durable gloves to keep you warm and dry while you're on the road. Being cold and uncomfortable on your motorcycle can cause distraction that might lead to an accident in dangerous weather conditions.
Driving with this advice in mind can help keep you safe on the road during winter, but you can't control the behavior of the drivers around you. If you get hit by a passenger car or truck because another driver was negligent, your injuries will likely be more severe than theirs. If you have trouble paying for medical bills or even returning to work after such an accident, you may want help from an auto accident lawyer to seek compensation.