No matter how much of a good driver you are, there will always be risks associated with being on the road. Safe drivers can be caught off guard when behind the wheel due to careless motorists or severe weather conditions. Motorcyclists, however, are exposed to more dangers when they ride their motorcycle during Utah’s harsh winter. Although the risks of a vehicle accident increase when you drive your motorcycle in the snow, you don’t have to give up riding your motorcycle altogether. Here are some tips you should follow to help you safely conquer the icy roads.
Understanding Why Your Safety Is in Jeopardy
Utah experiences frigid temperatures and an unforgiving mixture of snow, sleet, and rain during the cold season. Not only are these elements inherently dangerous on their own, but they create significant hazards and put riders at risk of experiencing motorcycle accident injuries when combined. Familiarize yourself with the following dangers when riding your motorcycle in the snow:
Distracted Driving: As a motorcyclist, you’ve probably heard not to multitask while you’re driving several times before. You already know to not text while driving, but other distractions aren’t talked about enough that you need to be aware not to multitask. Have you ever felt so cold that your physical discomfort was all you thought to shake uncontrollably? When your body temperature unexpectedly drops, it becomes difficult to move—especially when you begin to shake uncontrollably. This creates a distraction that could easily be prevented by layering your clothes. Avoid becoming so cold that you aren’t able to focus on safely getting to your destination. Alternately, you can stay off the road until the cold weather subsides.
Experiencing Hypothermia: When you’re driving your motorcycle at fast speeds, it can become challenging to discern cold weather from cold sweat. Although you may think it’s freezing outside, your body has likely produced sweat that has turned into a cold sweat. When you’re covered in cold sweat, the moisture can cause your body temperature to drastically drop—which can result in hypothermia. Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, and it should not be taken lightly. If left untreated, hypothermia can lead to heart failure and respiratory problems. To combat hypothermia, it’s essential to bundle up in thick layers when you’re on your bike. Choose winter clothes that wick away sweat from your body.
Slippery Roads: Cold tires have less traction than warm tires, which puts motorcyclists at risk for slipping on icy roads. The risks amplify when driving on black ice. Weak tire traction is hazardous enough, but when paired with snowy roads, it can be deadly. Make sure that your motorcycle’s tires have an adequate amount of pressure before you embark on a trip. Never go for a ride if your tires are low on tread. Avoid speeding and taking risky turns at all costs.
Driving in the snow can be a rewarding experience, especially if you’re a fan of winter weather. However, a fun adventure can quickly take the wrong turn. If you find yourself in an accident due to adverse weather conditions, you’ll need to work with an injury lawyer to get the compensation you deserve. Contact Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer.