September 20, 2017
For most motorcyclists, a little rain isn’t going to stop them from enjoying the ride.
But it’s important to take extra precautions when going for a ride in the rain. Even drivers of enclosed cars take extra care when they venture out into a downpour; surely someone operating a much smaller vehicle, completely exposed to the elements, should exercise caution as well.
Wear the Right Gear
No matter what the manufacturer of your gear promises you, you’re definitely going to get wet when riding in the rain. However, that doesn’t mean that choosing the right gear isn’t important, or that all gear is created equal.
In addition to getting wet, you’re also going to get cold. It’s rare in Indiana that we get a warm summer rain, but even in those circumstances, riding at high speeds is going to result in a bit of a chill. Cold slows down your reaction time, so it’s important to buy a warm, waterproof jacket and quality pants. You should also consider buying a full body suit.
Your extremities are the most susceptible to the cold, so make sure you’re taking care of your hands and feet as well with proper gloves and boots. Your gloves should be warm enough without being so bulky that they inhibit your ability to grip. Your boots should similarly be sturdy but not so clunky that they get in the way. Wear wool socks to keep your feet warm.
Although Indiana doesn’t require motorcyclists over the age of 18 to wear a helmet, you’re going to want to wear one if you go for a ride in the rain. Not only will it add extra protection in case of an accident, but it will also increase your ability to see. Plus, you won’t have raindrops speeding into your face at 45 miles per hour.
Your visor will likely fog when you’re riding in the rain. To avoid this, consider buying a fog shield insert and fitting it into your helmet. You also should trade your tinted visor for a clear one whenever there’s bad weather or the sun has set.
It’s also important to increase your visibility to other drivers. Now’s not the time to don your all-black gear. Purchase gear that’s brightly colored to begin with.
Just like with any other vehicle, it’s important to slow down when it’s raining. You won’t be able to brake as quickly in the rain without possibly losing control of your vehicle or hydroplaning. Slow down, and when you need to brake, brake gently.
Riding more slowly allows you to avoid any obstacles that tend to show up in wet weather. Sure, riding through a puddle may seem like a fun idea, but since you have no idea how deep that puddle is, it’s best to avoid it.
You should also increase your following distance. Not only will this help you avoid a crash if the car in front of you brakes suddenly, but the car’s tires will probably be spraying water back at you, which will decrease your visibility and leave you soaking wet. Keep your distance to ensure your safety.
Approach intersections more slowly as well. The oil left by cars around intersections may not be visible in the rain, but it may make it more difficult for you to brake. Don’t try to beat a yellow light by flying through the intersection; slow down and stay safe.
Use Common Sense
Depending on when you start riding, there may still be dry spots on the road. If there’s a line of dry pavement in your lane, stick to it.
If you see lightning, it’s time to head inside. Don’t just park somewhere and try to wait out the storm; seek immediate shelter.
This also goes for other extreme forms of weather such as hail and gale-force winds. If you wouldn’t want to be driving in it, you definitely don’t want to be riding in it.
Help from an Indiana Motorcycle Accident Attorney
You can take all of the necessary precautions when riding your motorcycle, but regardless of whether it’s sunny or rainy, you still may get into a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of someone else.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, Hensley Legal Group can help. Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation.