Winter is almost upon us. While snowy winter landscapes can make for a beautiful time of year to enjoy a ride in Indiana, it also comes with increased risks. As motorcyclists don’t have the same protections as passengers in a car, they are at higher risk of suffering severe injuries and even death when involved in an accident.
In 2019, over 5,000 motorcyclists died in traffic accidents. While these crashes can occur any time of year, winter riding is the most risky due to reduced visibility and poor road conditions due to snow and ice. This doesn’t mean motorcyclists can’t ride in the winter, but they should take extra precautions to avoid being injured in a motorcycle accident.
1. Always Wear Your Helmet
The number one rule of motorcycle riding is—always wear a helmet. Though the state of Indiana has no official helmet law, it is highly recommended for those who want to avoid suffering from severe head injuries that can leave them permanently disabled or even dead. Not only will a helmet protect you from injury in the winter months, but it is an additional layer that can keep your head and face warm.
2. Understand the Risks of Riding in the Winter
Winter riding comes with increased risks and hazards. Before starting up your bike, it’s essential to mentally prepare yourself for what you may encounter while riding on a cold winter day or night. You may experience more traffic jams and backups in the winter, reduced visibility with snow, and slick road conditions from slush, snow, and ice. These are all things to be mindful of and may require you to change your riding habits and be more mindful of your surroundings.
3. Wear Proper Winter Weather Gear
Of course, riding in the winter also means dealing with frigid temperatures. As motorcyclists’ bodies are exposed when riding, they are more susceptible to things like windburn and frostbite. Even if you are making a short trip to the store or somewhere else, you never know what could happen. It’s always best to dress as warmly as possible in case you get stuck in traffic. Proper winter gear can mean the difference between an enjoyable ride and a trip to the ER for frostbite on your nose, toes, or fingers.
4. Prepare Your Bike For the Winter
Not only should you ready yourself for winter, but you should ready your bike as well. Keeping up with bike maintenance is especially important during the winter. The last thing you need is for something to go wrong, leaving you stranded in a snowstorm. Additionally, you can make changes and updates to your bike for the winter, such as winter tires, a windscreen, handguards, and even heated grips to make your rides safer and more comfortable.
5. Don’t Ride in Extreme Winter Weather Conditions
If possible, you should avoid riding your bike in severe weather conditions. Heavy snowstorms, sleeting rain, and frozen roads all increase your chances of getting into an accident. Even passenger vehicle drivers are cautioned against driving during winter weather emergencies. As motorcyclists are even more at risk of injury, it’s best just to stay inside, if possible.
Consult an Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyer
Despite following the precautions above, accidents can still happen. If you become injured in a motorcycle accident, the Crossen Law Firm is here for you. Our team is equipped with the knowledge and resources to help you with your injury claim and advocate for your best interests.
To schedule a free consultation with our reliable team, dial (317) 401-8626 today. Or contact us online.