Texas is the perfect place for motorcycle enthusiasts looking to put some extra miles on their bike. While the hot weather may be unbearable for some during the summer months, the winter brings more reasonable temperatures.
But motorcyclists in Texas can still get caught in the rain, especially toward the end of hurricane season. It’s critical that motorcyclists know how to ride safely in the rain to avoid crashes and injuries.
Rain makes for dangerous riding conditions. And when the temperatures dip down during the night, those slick roads can become even more treacherous.
To help you stay safe on the road, consider the following safety tips when dealing with wet riding conditions and what you can do if you find yourself the victim of an accident.
Make sure you have the right gear
The weather may be warmer in Texas than elsewhere in the states, but that doesn’t mean you ought to forego the right gear. In fact, you can actually suffer from mild hypothermia when you’re riding in the cold wet rain even when you’re in Texas.
This can be dangerous for multiple reasons, but the main one is that, when your body core temperature is too low, it causes your brain and nervous system to function improperly. This makes it difficult to perform tasks like operating a motorcycle.
It’s important that you use a sturdy rain suit for rainy days. Make sure the rain suit and other gear you have has reflectors or comes in bright colors for optimal visibility. You want to be sure that cars and other motorcyclists can see you.
It’s also recommended to carry a towel with you and more than one pair of gloves. This ensures that you’re able to dry off and that you can change into warmer, dry gloves if yours become too wet.
Wear the correct eye protection
Vision is vital when you’re on the road, whether you’re driving a car or a motorcycle. Before you get on your bike, put on a full-face helmet that has a clear anti-fog face shield.
Learn how to wipe away water droplets from your face shield before you try to ride in the rain. You can wipe away small water droplets from your face shield with your gloves when you’re traveling at low speeds. But when you’re traveling at higher speeds on the freeway, you can wipe water droplets off by quickly turning your head both ways.
There are also products available at your local motorcycle dealership or in larger stores that you can apply to your face shield to help prevent fog and water droplet buildup.
Make sure that you regularly inspect and maintain your bike
It’s important to make sure that your bike is in good condition to ride whether or not you’re in the rain. When it comes to wet roads, your tires are the most important maintenance item. Tires that are too worn down or don’t have enough air pressure can easily slide on slick roads.
Remember that tires take longer to warm up in the rain and you’ll need to do some stop-and-go riding prior to taking to the big roads.
It’s also crucial to make sure that your chain is adjusted properly to avoid any issues with your rear wheel grip. If there’s too much slack, you can end up transferring power to the rear wheel. This can cause a break in traction, which may cause an accident when taking a corner.
Remember to ride with care
When riding a motorcycle or driving a car, it’s important to be extra cautious on wet roads. Traction is reduced in the rain, which can make sudden changes in braking, accelerating, and steering dangerous.
It’s also recommended to change the way you handle your motorcycle. You’ll want to make throttle adjustments a little at a time and use less of a lean angle before gradually braking. When you hit the brakes too quickly in the rain, you can end up locking your brake system and you could hydroplane.
If you do have to suddenly hit your brakes because of another driver or a pedestrian, try to do it progressively by slowly squeezing the lever to load your motorcycle’s front tire and compress the suspension. Gradually increase your force on the brake until your bike has slowed down enough. This will help to keep your bike’s chassis stable during the braking process so you can stop more quickly without hydroplaning.
Give yourself more time
Just like the driver of any other vehicle, you need to give yourself more time and space on the road when it’s raining. Leave a safe distance between your motorcycle and the vehicle in front of you. The reduced traction caused by the rain will make it more difficult to brake effectively when you need to.
You also want to give yourself more time to take turns than you would if the roads were dry. Making a last-minute turn on a wet road can lead to an accident that could even be fatal. Go around the block and turn around if you miss a turn or if there isn’t enough time for you to turn safely.
What do I do if I’m in a motorcycle accident?
Unfortunately, even if you drive carefully, you could end up the victim of a motorcycle accident. If you find yourself hit by a motor vehicle or another motorcyclist while you’re on the road:
- Get out of the road and call for help. When you’re hit in a motor vehicle accident, you need to get yourself to safety first. Once you’re out of the road, call 911.
- Get information from the other driver if you can. If you’re in the right condition to do so, get the information of the other driver. This includes their name, phone number, address, and insurance. Take pictures, get the names and numbers of witnesses if possible, and wait for help to arrive.
- Seek medical attention. Motorcycle accidents are incredibly dangerous. It’s crucial that you seek medical attention even if you believe you might be fine. Adrenaline can mask the pain from internal injuries and symptoms from other injuries may not appear until later.
- Contact personal injury lawyers. Once you’ve received medical treatment for your injuries, consider contacting a personal injury attorney to file a personal injury claim. If you’ve suffered physical damage and property damage because of another driver’s negligence or malicious intent, you may be able to receive compensation through a personal injury claim for your medical bills and other expenses related to the accident.
Even when you make an effort to ride safely in the rain by following all the safety tips above and operating your motorcycle carefully, you may still fall victim to a car accident. You can control what you do on the road, but you can’t prevent another motorist’s negligence. Filing a personal injury claim against a negligent driver can help you get the compensation you need.
Ready to file a personal injury claim?
If you were the victim of a motor vehicle accident while you were riding a motorcycle, you’re not alone. In 2016, motorcyclists were up to 28 times more likely to die than passenger car occupants in a crash per vehicle mile traveled.
You may be able to file a personal injury claim to compensate for damages. To learn more about personal injury claims and filing a personal injury claim as a victim of a motor vehicle accident, contact the law offices of Heriberto Ramos today.