Personal Injury

Riding a Motorbike in Winter: Staying Safe

Estimated read time: 3 mins

Carrie Tennick, February 10, 2021

Riding your motorcycle in winter can be challenging – even if you’ve been riding for years. But it doesn’t have to be impossible. Taking the right precautions can reduce the risk of accidents.

With more cold weather on the way, we’ll take a look at the best ways of staying safe on your bike.

Consider not riding

Your bike is more likely to be at risk from snow and ice on the road than other vehicles, given its size and the fact you’re balancing on two wheels. Think carefully about whether you need to ride when temperatures are below freezing and ice is likely.

Although it’s more inconvenient to have to rely on public transport or other ways of getting around, sometimes the roads will just be too slippery to travel on. Even if your tyres can handle the roads, your shoes and feet might not be able to, putting you at risk at traffic lights and junctions.

Dress well

Wearing the right gear will help keep you safer and make you more comfortable in winter. Get yourself the right jacket, gloves and potentially thermal layers. You’ll be grateful when the wind doesn’t cut through as badly.

If you’re riding to and from work, the shorter days can pose certain problems too. You’re less visible on a bike than in a car, and this is only made worse in the dark. So avoid dark clothing and invest in some reflective gear. High-visibility clothes are useful in daylight but aren’t as useful in the dark so you don’t want to rely on them.

Improve visibility

Riding in winter makes visibility hard enough. If your helmet visor has fogged up, it makes it even worse, putting you in danger. A Pinlock visor insert absorbs moisture and creates a double glazing effect in your visor, making it easier to see and keeping your face warm.

There are other ways of reducing moisture in your helmet, including anti-fog spray or coatings, wearing a mask over your nose and mouth and increasing the ventilation.

Keep extra distance

Keeping an appropriate distance from other vehicles is even more important in winter than any other time. With slippery roads, your braking distance will be longer so you’ll need to leave some extra space.

Meanwhile, if you’re riding in the dark, being dazzled by oncoming headlights is a danger. Because you can’t see properly for a moment, you’ll need to have given yourself enough distance from anyone in front of you to avoid an accident.

Maintain your bike

Bike maintenance is essential all year but in winter, it’s even more important. Make sure you check your T-CLOC (tyres, controls, lights, oil and chassis) before you venture out. If something isn’t working properly, get it seen to as soon as you can and re-evaluate whether you have to ride.

Road gritting can have a corrosive effect on vehicles, so check on the mechanics before and after riding. You might want to consider cleaning your bike after each ride in winter to prevent the salt and grit having too big an effect. You could also consider innvesting in some winter tyres for extra grip.

Staying safe in winter

Although you’ve done all you can to keep yourself and other road users safe in winter, other people may not. So if you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, you could be able to make a compensation claim.

Just get in touch with the team at First4Lawyers to find out how we can help you through the process.

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