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Is It Safe to Ride a Motorcycle in the Winter?

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Riding a motorcycle is never as safe as driving a car, and the activity can become even more dangerous during the winter. You should also never ride a motorcycle in the snow or rain. Even the most experienced motorcyclists do not ride in the snow intentionally -- unless they are riding a dirt bike in a snowy field, of course! Additionally, some locales outlaw driving in snowy weather, and others require motorcyclists to have special tires if they are riding in an area where snow may be possible.

How to Dress for a Winter Ride

While it may not be the safest activity, you can ride a motorcycle when it’s cold out if you have the right gear.

According to All-Year Rider, you should have:

  • Insulated, waterproof winter gloves that fit you perfectly
  • A helmet breath deflector
  • Top grade or winter tires
  • A winter jacket
  • Winter pants
  • Thick socks and winter boots
  • A neck warmer or scarf
  • A warm base layer with full legs and sleeves

Dress in layers so you can control your temperature, but do not remove your gloves. If your hands get too cold, you may be unable to squeeze your brakes.

Other Tips

Check your tire pressure before every ride during the winter to make sure you get as much traction as possible on the road. When riding, control your speed and keep an eye out for salt and ice, as both could cause a motorcycle accident. You should also be wary of cracks in the road because winter conditions and snowplows can cause damage -- even along the most familiar routes.

Scan ahead for hazards and give yourself extra time to stop. If you encounter traffic, allow plenty of following distance. Most importantly, the second it starts to snow, head home or get off the road.

Remember, riding in the cold makes you tired, reduces your dexterity and mental concentration, and interferes with traction. Before you ride a motorcycle during the winter, know the risks, purchase the right gear, and make sure you have an emergency plan.

Never ride your motorcycle without insurance, know the phone number of a motorcycle-specific towing service, and be aware that an accident can happen at any moment -- whether you cause it or not.

If you get hurt on your motorcycle due to someone else’s carelessness, Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. can help you hold the at-fault party accountable. Whether you are hit by a car, run off the road by a commercial truck, or face another kind of crash, we can help.

Call us at (603) 288-1403 or contact us online to discuss your rights and legal options after motorcycle accidents. We offer 140 years of combined experience, as well as free consultations.