Preparing for winter riding – top tips for staying safe this winter
News article published on: 16th January 2020
Winter weather means tougher riding conditions for motorcyclists so it’s important to be prepared.
Over the years I have seen accidents that could have been prevented or been far less serious had those involved taken precautions to lower their risk.
My tips for safer riding this winter are:
The most important advice is to ride according to the conditions. Braking distances increase vastly in winter weather so adjust your riding accordingly.
Without protective gear, any accident you have could be far worse. Road rash and skin degloving caused by coming off your bike can be hugely painful so make sure you invest in a good quality jacket, dragging trousers, gloves and boots. It is important to keep warm and you can buy heated vests, jackets and gloves. Also make sure you have “reflective” clothing. Balaclava’s and neck warmers are great for keeping you warm.
Check the weather before you ride out. On black ice a motorbike’s wheels will slide and the bike will tip over immediately without warning. If you suspect the road is likely to be icy, drive at appropriate speeds for the conditions and avoid patches of ice where possible.
Even temporary visibility problems can be dangerous. Some poor-quality helmets have visors that mist up in cold weather conditions, making it harder to see. Make sure you invest in a helmet which can take a decent pinlock anti–mist visor insert.
Fallen leaves can also prove a hazard for motorcyclists and cause slips at speed. Again, modify your speed in these conditions.
You need to make sure your tyres are not worn and have sufficient grip to avoid sliding in poor weather conditions. Although not many motorcyclists in the UK use them, winter tyres are an option if you anticipate hazardous conditions.
- Always ensure the chin strap of your helmet is secured
At high speeds helmets not secured by a chin strap can fall off, leaving you vulnerable in an accident. Make sure the strap is secured at all times.
Make sure you have adequate insurance cover for yourself and your bike in the event of a road traffic accident.
Rob Aylott is a solicitor specialising in motorcycle accident claims in the Personal Injury team.