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Caught in the Rain on a Motorcycle: Safety Check

Posted on: October 6, 2017 by Edwards & Patterson Law

rain on a motorcycle

Riding a motorcycle in the rain will sometimes be necessary, as it is often inconvenient or impossible to delay or cancel a trip after setting out. Just like preparing for any trip, being ready to negotiate rain on a motorcycle is a matter of prior planning and a little common sense. Keep the following facts in mind and use the tips provided to ride safely on any trip with your motorcycle, especially in the rain.

Wear the Correct Gear

Clothing that provides a protective covering is always warranted when riding a motorcycle. Helmet, jacket, sturdy shoes or boots, and padded coverings over the arms and legs are recommended. When riding in rain on a motorcycle, additional rain gear is needed. A high quality rain suit, waterproof boots that cover the ankles, and waterproof gloves are essential to ensure safe and comfortable riding. When you are comfortably protected from the weather, you can focus on safe riding practices and not become distracted or careless from discomfort.

Be Aware of Road Conditions

  • The first 15 minutes during a rain shower or storm is the most dangerous. As water fills the pits in the road’s surface, oil and dirt deposited by vehicles rise to the top. Use extreme caution during this time and if possible, pull over and enjoy a cup of coffee until the steady rain washes this slippery covering off the road.
  • Avoid shiny or smooth surfaces. Metal train tracks, manhole covers, metal grates across bridges, and the like are much more slippery when wet. Also, watch out for any painted surfaces such as lane lines, turn arrows, etc. They can be slippery as well. Use extreme caution and avoid stopping or turning over such surfaces.
  • Watch out for loose objects. Rain acts as a lubricant for loose objects like gravel or trash, making them extra hazardous. Avoid such objects when possible, or slow to a crawl when negotiating them, with feet positioned down to catch yourself in the event of a fall.

Slow Down

This should seem obvious, but many still use excessive speed while riding in the rain on a motorcycle. As previously stated, rain acts as a lubricant between your tires and the road, and between your brakes and wheels. Stopping times will be even longer at regular speeds, much less at high speeds. Normal cruising speed on dry surfaces is too fast when traveling in the rain. Reduce speed accordingly when riding in the rain. Heavier rain warrants a slower speed.

Ride Behind the Wheels in Front of You

If the vehicle in front of you stops or slows suddenly, you are better able to avoid it and a possible accident is you are close to one side or the other. Moreover, the vehicle’s wheels are plowing water and debris out of the way as they roll, creating a safer pathway for your tires. Using this slightly dryer pavement is to your advantage.

Perform One Action at a Time

Under normal driving conditions on dry roads, motorcycle riders accelerate while turning, downshift while turning, or shift weight while accelerating and turning. These combined actions put additional stress on tires as they attempt to hold to the road. Reduce this stress on wet, slippery surfaces by performing only one action at a time. Accelerate or deaccelerate before attempting turns. Less tension on wet tires results in better traction and increased safety.

Riding in the rain on a motorcycle through Tulsa, McAlester, or around eastern Oklahoma may be a necessity from time to time, so use the above tips to do so safely. If you are involved in an accident, the motorcycle injury attorneys at Edwards and Patterson Law can help you with any legal claims arising from motorist negligence or poor road maintenance conditions. If you believe your accident was caused by other motorists or poorly maintained roads, call us at 877-403-8417 or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.

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