Serving Victims of Motorcycle Accidents Caused By Bad Weather Throughout Los Angeles
Although negligent motor vehicle drivers cause the majority of motorcycle accidents, bad weather is also frequently a factor. Riding in heavy rain, for example, can cause motorcycle accidents by making roads slippery. Rain can also conceal potholes, debris and other road defects that are normally visible when roads are dry. Ultimately, motorcycle riders are at a greater risk of injury in all types of inclement weather because they are not protected from the elements.
J&Y Law is one of the premier personal injury firms serving clients in Northern and Southern California. We are committed to protecting the rights of motorcyclists and educating the public about the risks of bad weather motorcycle accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, having our experienced attorneys on your side is essential.
Preparing for Bad Weather Motorcycle Riding
While motorcycle riding in rain, heavy winds and other seriously bad weather should be avoided whenever possible, most riders will eventually encounter inescapable adverse weather conditions. Therefore, pre-ride bike inspections and maintenance are crucial to ensure the motorcycle can handle harsh weather. It is especially important to inspect the tires to make sure they can hold the road in bad or wet weather. Tires should have good tread depth that is suitable for wet weather riding and displacing water.
In addition, a pre-ride inspection should focus on lights, shocks and brakes. All lights must be operating, including the headlight, tail light, brake lights, and indicators. Bad shocks will lead to poor road handling, particularly in bad weather. Moreover, brake pads and discs should be checked for wear, and motorcycle brake lines should be bled before a long trip. Finally, riders should plan ahead for bad weather by having necessary weather visibility gear. This includes a visor coated with anti-fog and water repellant, a rain suit, motorcycle boots and gloves.
General Tips for Motorcycle Riding in Bad Weather
If you encounter bad weather while riding a motorcycle, it is important to remember the following safety tips:
- Don’t ride through moving or standing water
- Don’t break or accelerate heavily
- Avoid leaning too much which causes skidding
- If visibility is poor, slow down
- Drive slowly to avoid hydroplaning
- If you cannot see the road, turn around
- Assume downed power lines are still live
- Be cautious at night due to limited visibility
- Wear safety gear
Motorcycle Riding in the Rain
Because motorcycle riders are exposed to the the elements, it is crucial to proceed with caution in the rain. Riders should go easy on the brakes and throttle, aiming for smooth control and complete turns before accelerating. In wet weather, motorcycle riders must be able to anticipate when to accelerate or brake, and use engine braking for corners and junctions to reduce the risk of skidding. Additionally, motorcyclists should be aware of hazards while riding in the rain — slick concrete surfaces, manhole covers, railroad tracks, puddles, potholes and oil spills.
Motorcycle Riding in Cold Weather
If you plan on riding a motorcycle in cold weather, there are steps you can take to avoid cold tire accidents. Because tires lose pressure in the cold weather, or when a bike has been sitting for a long period of time, it is crucial to check the tire pressure before riding. Additionally, motorcycle riders should dress appropriately by wearing gloves and motorcycle boots. It is also important to windproof and insulate your upper body. Motorcyclists should also be aware of the risks of hypothermia and frostbite when riding in the cold weather.
Motorcycle Riding in Hot Weather
Excessive heat can also have an impact on a motorcycle rider’s safety. If you are riding on a hot summer day, it is important to stay hydrated, and take frequent water breaks. Although dressing appropriately can help keep you comfortable on a hot day, do not ride a motorcycle in shorts or without a shirt. Overexposing the skin can lead to sunburn, and a motorcycle accident can result in severe road rash injuries. Bikers can also open the vents on their motorcycle helmets to increase air flow. Finally, be aware of the signs of heat-related illnesses — heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or heat cramps, which could cause you to lose control of your motorcycle.
Motorcycle Riding in Strong Winds
Motorcycles are susceptible to side winds. Bikers should be prepared to lean into the crosswind to stay upright, but also be ready to compensate if the crosswind suddenly stops. Some motorcyclists may try to ride parallel to cars or other vehicles to block extreme crosswinds, but this can be dangerous if you are riding in a vehicle’s blind spot.
California Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
It is worth noting that the key factors in bad weather motorcycle accidents are speed, insufficient following distance and road surface conditions. If it suddenly starts to rain, for instance, it is important to change your riding style and pace — slow down, and increase your following distance. Also, steer clear of painted lines, manhole covers and any other road condition that will jeopardize traction.
Of course, riding experience also plays a role in bad weather motorcycle accidents. If you find yourself in a situation that is beyond your capability, find a safe spot to pull over, stop and wait it out. In any event, if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, call the attorneys at J&Y Law or complete the contact form on our website. We will fight for your right to the maximum compensation.