Although Florida is known as the “Sunshine State,” the weather here can be notorious for random spring showers and active hurricane seasons. Similar to boaters, you should also check the weather forecast before riding your motorcycle. If you can avoid it, we always recommend you refrain from riding your motorcycle in bad weather. However, motorcyclists may encounter unexpected slippery and wet conditions from time to time. Therefore, it is essential to know how to handle slick roads before finding yourself in the middle of a storm.
Make sure your ride is safe and secure by following these tips to avoid injuries and crashes when motorcycling on a wet and rainy day in St. Petersburg, FL.
Why it’s Important to Inspect Your Motorcycle Before Riding
No matter the weather, always check your motorcycle before you ride. When the roads are slippery, having plenty of tire tread to grip the roads will avoid causing your motorcycle to slip due to worn tires. Testing for the proper tire air pressure is also essential. Keep in mind that tires need to be warmed up before riding. So, before taking off, warm up with stop-and-go riding to operate more securely in the rain.
After the tires, there are several other items you should check, including:
- Brake Pads – be sure that your brake pads are in good shape with enough wear to safely stop your bike while on wet roads;
- Brake and oil fluids – check that they’re full and without leaks;
- Motorcycle Chain – avoid difficulties with gripping on your rear wheel by ensuring your chain is adjusted correctly;
- Headlight – make sure your headlight is functioning properly so that the other motorists can see you in inclement weather.
These checks are not as crucial before riding on dry, sunny roads, but can make all the difference when riding on rainy ones. It only takes a couple of minutes to inspect your bike, so spend that time to secure a safer ride.
Stay Warm with the Right Rain Jacket
A rain jacket to keep you warm is vital when it comes to protecting yourself while riding in wet weather. Getting wet while riding your motorcycle isn’t necessarily hazardous; however, riding while cold can lead to an accident. During the winter months, freezing rain can get trapped under your clothes and initiate a mild form of hypothermia – causing your brain and nervous system to slow down along with your reaction time. Prepare for these conditions by bringing rain gear with you for these instances. Your rain gear should have bright colors with reflectors so that other drivers can see you on the road.
In addition to rain gear, make sure you have extra gloves to keep your hands dry and warm. At the very least, keep a spare towel to wipe your hands and gloves when you’re able to stop safely.
Increase Visibility with Eye Protection Gear
Ensuring that you have clear visibility while riding your motorcycle is one of the best safety measures you can take – along with wearing a helmet. For motorcyclists in Florida, the warm and humid weather tends to fog up your face shield or goggles within seconds. Investing in a full-face helmet with eye protection made for riding in the rain is critical for safe riding practices. You can also find sprays to prevent eye gear from fogging up at any motorcycle retailer.
Depending on how fast or slow you’re riding, you can use specific techniques to wipe away the tiny droplets that build up on your face shield or goggles. When dealing with more torrential rain at faster speeds, a swift turn of the head both ways will usually blow off raindrops. When riding in light rain at slower speeds, it’s best to wipe your visor with your gloves to remove the rain buildup.
Handle Your Bike with Extra Care
Less traction from slippery roads means you must ride with extra caution when accelerating, braking, and steering. Be sure to give yourself enough space and time to brake before making turns or navigating between yourself and other vehicles. Adjust the brakes and throttle with smaller motions, and ride with less of a lean to prevent accidents on slick roads. Braking too abruptly can cause hydroplaning or your brakes to lock up. Both scenarios may result in a dangerous accident and injury.
One trick, especially for newer riders, is to ride in the dryline from the tire tracks of the vehicle ahead. This path will offer more traction than the other parts of the road. Just be careful not to ride too closely behind the one you’re trailing.
Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorneys You Can Trust
You can always take precautionary steps to increase your safety measures before riding your motorcycle, but you can’t always prepare for the negligence of other drivers. If you’ve been injured on the road, call on the expert motorcycle accident lawyers at Marsalisi Law.
With more than a decade of experience, Attorney Frank P. Marsalisi and his team have helped thousands of motorcycle riding clients who have suffered injuries after being struck by a careless driver.
Marsalisi Law is Where Law Gets Personal. To get started on your case, call us at (727) 800-5052 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free case evaluation.