Should I ride my motorcycle in the winter?

As temperatures cool off, more and more factors emerge that impact the risk of riding a motorcycle in the winter. Winter car accidents, after all, have been more dangerous in Pennsylvania than anywhere else across the country in recent years.

Here are a few of the risks to weigh out while deciding if you will retire your ride for the winter.

Limited traction

The following factors can all reduce traction for a motorcyclist in the winter:

  • Snow and ice/black ice
  • Salt and sand
  • Cold tires or low tire pressure
  • Cracks or plow build up

These factors combined can cause a motorcyclist to take a longer amount of time to stop or slow down. They may also cause a rider to lose balance while turning or merging.

Risk can be minimized by leaving a greater following distance from other vehicles. Using higher quality wheels and warming them up by quickly accelerating and decelerating may also help keep the bike on the road. However, balancing won’t be easy if there is a slip at the wrong moment.

Lack of insulation

The cold is well, you know, cold! If you aren’t dressed in the proper gear to handle the weather, you could become seriously ill or so fatigued that your ability to ride safely suffers. Examples of illness resulting from cold weather include:

  • Common cold, the flu or sore throat
  • Norovirus
  • Raynaud’s syndrome
  • Heart attack

You can avoid these ailments by dressing properly with:

  • Winter gloves
  • Winter/wind-proof coat
  • Layers
  • Heated steering grips or hand warmer packets
  • Balaclava under your helmet

Lack of visibility

Snowfall and a fogged-up helmet can both cause a lack of visibility that could easily send you flying through the backseat of someone’s vehicle. Use a breath deflector for your helmet to keep your visor clear. As for the snow, most riders would suggest that you head home if it starts coming down.

Generally, it’s not a good idea to ride in the wintertime. However, if road conditions are clear and you are prepared for these risks, you may be able to do it safely.

Just remember that motorcycle-vehicle collisions are often deadly for riders. If you’re involved in an accident, seek medical attention immediately. Then, contact a personal injury attorney to get help seeking compensation for your recovery.