Depending on your tolerance for cold weather, you might think we’re already in the dead of the winter based on the last few weeks of cool temps, but we’re just beginning. For the heartiest among us, winter is an invigorating time to continue to ride a motorcycle and get out and enjoy the crisp winter air. If you fare well in the cold winter months and still like to ride, we want to make sure you have all the tools you need to avoid a New Haven motorcycle accident and safely enjoy the winter riding months.
If you’re heading out into the cold weather to ride your motorcycle in the winter, we have some safety tips for you, but we also want to remind you that whenever there is any precipitation in the air and it is cold out the dangers of riding a motorcycle increase exponentially and you may want to take your car instead, at least until the precipitation passes. Snow and sleet can be difficult for anyone to drive in, but especially someone who is riding on two wheels and not four.
Once you’ve cleared the way that there is no snow or ice that is going to be impeding your ride you can prepare yourself to enjoy your ride. One of the most important things you can do pre-ride is to dress using appropriate clothing. Layering your clothes will be your best friend because if you have a nice thin base layer, a mid-thickness middle layer and a heavy top layer you’ll be protected from the elements and be warm from your body outward which will help you enjoy the ride even in the coldest of temperatures.
When you’re all geared up and ready to hit the road here are some safety tips to keep in mind when you’re zipping through the city or taking a sharp turn on the open road of the suburbs.
1.) Make sure you are able to be seen by on-coming traffic. Always use your headlights as visibility declines in the cold weather. Make sure you are wearing reflective clothing, especially when you are traveling at night. Being visible is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself safe and avoid getting into an accident.
2.) Reduce your speed. Excessive speed is one of the deadliest things you can do whether you’re driving in a car or riding a motorcycle. This is even more critical during cold weather rides because the weather may affect your reaction time to the other vehicles you are sharing the road with and if you’re not reacting as fast, but you’re still driving with excessive speed this could be a recipe for disaster.
3.) Increase your following distance and do not weave in and out of traffic. How you interact with the other vehicles that you are sharing the road with can be critical to your safety. If you do not have the space to come to a safe, complete stop you are asking to get injured in an accident. Similarly if you are weaving in and out of traffic, all it takes is one person not paying attention to change lanes and knock you off your bike.
4.) Make sure you take breaks. The cold weather can wear you out and if you begin to get tired and/or cold you will want to take time off the bike. Stop and get a cup of coffee and rest for a while before you head back out into the cold. The cold can be invigorating, but can also be draining. If you’re showing any signs of drowsiness you should immediately pull over and take a break.
While it can be incredibly fun to ride your motorcycle in the winter with the cold air running across your face, it can also present challenges that can be dangerous and certainly new challenges to the ones you might face when you’re riding in the spring and summer months. If you take a few additional safety steps it will go a long way to keeping you free from a New Haven motorcycle accident and any injuries that may come along with that.
It doesn’t matter what the mercury says when you get into an accident and get injured, you still may need someone who has experience working on situations just like yours. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will speak with you and work on helping protect your long-term interests.