Wet roads represent one of the most common road hazards that motorcycle riders face and one of the most dangerous as well. Whether it’s due to recent rain or a street cleaner, when the streets are wet they’re hazardous.
As a motorcycle rider, you’re far more exposed on the street than other drivers are. If you get into an accident, the chances of you suffering serious or even life-threatening injuries are significant. This is why safety should be a top priority for all riders.
Anytime you’re riding when conditions are especially hazardous, extra caution needs to be taken. Remember, nobody ever gets onto their motorcycle planning to get into an accident. So you have to be proactive. Take steps to reduce your chances of an accident.
You also need to be prepared in the event of an accident by wearing protective gear. Riding on wet and slippery roads is hazardous, but the following tips can help to guide you so you can make the experience as safe as possible.
If You Can Avoid Riding On Wet Roads Then You Should
This should go without saying, but if you can avoid riding when the roads are wet you should. Sometimes you have no choice. If a motorcycle is your only vehicle, you can’t just sit around and wait for the weather to be cooperative when you have things to do.
But if you have a car in addition to a motorcycle, then driving your car during a storm is much safer. If you can put things off until the weather clears up, then do so. The bottom line is, that anytime you can put off riding when the roads are wet, you should.
When Riding On Wet Roads Slowing Down Reduces The Risk Of An Accident
Riding on wet roads is dangerous. It’s much more dangerous when you’re driving fast. It’s very simple, going faster means that in the event of an accident you’re going to hit something harder. When you hit something harder the chances of a serious or fatal injury go up dramatically.
On top of that, going faster gives you less time to react to obstacles which also increases your chance of an accident. So, do yourself a favor when riding when the roads are slick, slow down.
During Wet Conditions Recognize That Your Motorcycle Won’t Stop As Quickly As It Would In Normal Conditions
One of the biggest issues you’ll encounter if you drive when the roads are wet is a reduced ability to stop your motorcycle quickly. Motorcycles are quick and agile, which is what makes them so much more fun to ride. But when weather conditions are not favorable, you won’t be able to stop as quickly.
What does that mean? It means that you need to give yourself more distance between you and the car in front of you. It also means that you need to plan to start slowing down for turns earlier than you normally would.
Slowing down and giving yourself more time to react when the roads are slick can mean the difference between being safe and being in an accident.
Riding With Your Lights On During A Storm Makes You More Visible To Other Drivers
Motorcycles are smaller than other cars, which makes them less visible on the road. During a storm when visibility is reduced, motorcycles are particularly vulnerable since they’ll be even harder to see.
When another driver can’t see you riding, the chances of them hitting you go way up. So, during a storm, ride with your lights on. Even if it’s the middle of the day, a storm reduces visibility, so you need to have your lights on.
Wear Bright Clothing
Wearing bright clothing during a storm is another effective way you can improve your visibility on the road. When other drivers can’t see you, they won’t know to avoid you. The importance of being visible on the road simply cannot be overstated.
This is especially true during bad weather when visibility is reduced. Something as simple as wearing a bright colored jacket can mean all the difference between life and death.
Wear Protective Gear
When should you wear protective gear when you’re riding your motorcycle? Every time you get on it. Period. If you ride without protective gear, your chances of suffering serious or fatal injuries go up dramatically.
However, when you’re riding and the roads are wet, the importance of wearing protective gear is even greater. With a greater chance of an accident happening needs to come greater preparation on your part in case one does.
How many motorcycle riders get onto their bikes and think that today will be the day that they suffer a serious accident? Probably none. Nobody wants to be in an accident but they happen. Even if you do everything in your power to avoid being in an accident, it still may not be enough.
Accidents happen, so all you can do try to avoid them and do everything you can to protect yourself if one does happen to you.
Start by wearing a helmet. Your head is the most vulnerable part of your body in an accident and if you don’t have a helmet you could end up with serious brain injuries. If this happens and you survive, you may not come out of it as the same person you were before.
Brain damage is every rider’s worst nightmare, so protect your brain with a helmet. Wear a protective jacket that will shield you from road rash and while you’re at it, pick out a bright one that’s easily seen. Finally, wear pants and gloves designed for riders, so if you fall off your bike you’ll have as much protection as possible.
Avoid Oil Slicks On The Road
When riding on wet roads during a storm, the most dangerous time to do so is immediately after the storm starts. Water and oil don’t mix and there are oil deposits on every road that you ride on.
When it rains, those oil deposits become oil slicks. You shouldn’t have to be told that an oil slick is dangerous. If you hit an oil slick on your motorcycle, chances are that you’re going down. So, do yourself a favor, if it’s just started storming, try to wait a few minutes before you get on your bike.