If you’re like most motorcyclists, you’re not going to let a little drizzle stop you from taking your bike out for an evening ride.
Just remember that riding when it’s raining is more dangerous than riding on dry roads. Cautious riding techniques in these conditions are especially relevant for motorcyclists, who lack the protection and stability of enclosed, four-wheeled cars.
1. Slow Down
Like any other driver on the road, motorcyclists should ease off the gas when roads are slick. Keeping a lower top speed and braking gradually will help lower the risk of hydroplaning or losing control of your bike.
Lower speeds also help you identify and avoid obstacles in the road. Sure, you may think driving through that puddle will make you feel like an action hero, but you don’t know how deep it is, so you should probably avoid it.
Tailgating is especially dangerous in wet conditions, as sudden braking can cause vehicles of all kinds to hydroplane and crash into the vehicle in front of them. For motorcyclists, driving close is even more annoying because of the spray coming off the tires in front of you. Soaking wet clothes, a blurry visor, and a close following distance won’t help you avoid an accident on your bike.
Another road hazard that surfaces during rainy weather is oil slicks. These occur most often around intersections, where cars drip fluids that lower friction between your tires and the road. These slick spots are often hard to see, so approach intersections slowly and cautiously.
2. Wear the Right Gear
No matter what, you’re going to get wet when you ride in a rainstorm. Beyond being waterproof, though, your gear should also be warm. Even summer rains in Indiana will chill you out since the water evaporates as you ride around. Cold can inhibit your reaction time and muscle movement, so choosing high-quality gear is a critical decision. Consider buying a full body suit for even more protection.
Any biker can tell you how numb hands and feet make it much harder to ride safely, so prioritize a good pair of gloves and thick boots. The best gloves will be thick without being bulky, and a pair of sturdy, gripping boots will help keep your feet from slipping from their foothold. Wool socks will help keep your feet even warmer on the coldest rides.
3. Preserve Visibility
The best way to avoid being blinded by rain when you’re riding in it is to wear a helmet. Even though it’s not required for motorcyclists over 18 to wear one in Indiana, helmets protect you from stinging 45-mile-per-hour rain and from injury in case of an accident.
You can prevent your visor from fogging by buying a fog shield insert for your helmet. Another way to increase visibility during rainy conditions is to switch your tinted visor for a clear one. You won’t need the glare protection during cloudy conditions, anyway.
Besides your own visibility, consider how visible you and your bike are to others. Instead of your jet-black leather gear, try brighter colors and/or reflective gear to make sure other drivers and bikers can see you on the road.
4. Use Common Sense
If you can find a line of dry pavement as you’re riding, stick to it. Wet conditions are not the time to try burnouts or hot-rod starts.
Head home if you see lightning, rather than just parking until the storm passes. The same goes for other extreme weather conditions, like hail or heavy winds. Motorcycles are more susceptible to harsh weather than cars.
Get Help from an Evansville Motorcycle Accident Attorney
You could be the safest motorcyclist on the road, rain or shine, and still be hurt in an accident due to someone else’s negligence. If this has happened to you, Hensley Legal Group’s lawyers may be able to help. Call us or contact us online today for a free consultation.