Riding motorcycles are a lot of fun and quite enjoyable, however, riding a motorcycle is risky. When you share the road with drivers protected by tons of steel, who may be more focused on their smartphones than driving, you are forced to accept a certain level of danger every time you mount your bike.
Even so, riding a motorcycle remains an exhilarating experience for many who enjoy it as a lifestyle, hobby or an easy way to get from point A to point B. But now that summer is in full swing, afternoon thunderstorms are a nearly daily risk that could easily cause a serious motorcycle accident if you are not prepared.
So, what should you know to avoid a motorcycle accident during a storm? These tips may help the next time your ride turns wet.
Motorcycle Safety Tips for Riding During a Storm
- Gear Up: Though the summer months may be hot, gearing up is essential to safety when riding. If you think you may get caught in rain, consider wearing a rain jacket, rain pants or an entire rain suit to stay as dry as possible. If you use an open-face helmet without a wind guard, be sure to always use eye protection, as rain can severely limit your vision.
- Watch Your Roadway: Though wet roads are slippery, manhole covers and even the painted lines of the roadway are often far slicker. Avoid these common risks, especially when coming to a stop or attempting a turn. Also keep an eye out for puddling water on the roadway, sticking to drier lanes when possible.
- Be Cautious at Intersections: When stopped at intersections, some vehicles, unfortunately, leak oil onto the road, making an already slippery wet road an even bigger risk. Use caution when stopping and accelerating at stop signs and traffic lights.
- Slow it Down: Though motorcycles are often praised for their quick acceleration, you should ease off on the throttle when the roadways get wet. Do not follow fellow motorists too closely, signal before turns and always keep an eye out for impaired or distracted drivers whose reaction time may be compromised. Remember, your bike will stop slower when the road is wet. Give yourself more time and space than you need to arrive alive.
- Wait it Out: When in doubt, wait it out. Though summer storms are frequent, they are also often quick to pass. If you are unprepared or see a storm turning for the worse, never risk riding when you can simply hit the road once the coast is clear.
Anyone with real-world experience on a motorcycle knows that roadways and fellow motorists can be unpredictable. You need to ride defensively, anticipating the worst at all times in order to protect yourself from the unknown potential threats around every bend. These threats, however, only multiply when you add water to the mix. By wearing rain gear, keeping your eyes out for slick spots on the roadway, using caution at intersections, slowing your speed and waiting out especially bad storms, you can potentially avoid a serious motorcycle accident.