3 risk factors to consider about winter motorcycle riding

Most motorcyclists in Missouri are seasonal riders. They come out and enjoy the late spring, summer and early autumn. Once temperatures start dropping and leaves start falling, those motorcyclists will start getting their bikes ready for winter storage.

Only a minority of licensed motorcycle riders will continue riding in the winter months. If you are considering keeping your bike out all year round, there are certain safety considerations that you need to factor into that decision. Cold-weather motorcycle rides have their own unique set of risks for riders.

Drivers will be less likely than usual to see you

Inattentive motor vehicle drivers are one of the leading causes of motorcycle collisions. When drivers don’t pay attention to their surroundings and actively look for motorcycles, they may not notice one even if it is clearly visible. The only solution is awareness. When they actively look for you, they may notice you in time to avoid a wreck.

The colder it is outside and the later in the year it is, the less likely drivers are to think about motorcycles and to keep an eye out for them. You will have to be even more defensive on the roads than usual.

The weather may limit your ability to ride safely

Cold weather can make riding unpleasant, as the wind shear from your speed will make the ambient temperature seem even colder. Precipitation during the colder months is a serious concern as well. Even if only 3% of motorcycle crashes occur during snow or rainstorms, the near-total absence of motorcycles on the road during such weather makes even that 3% significant.

You need to have some form of alternative transportation available if you intend to ride your motorcycle year-round as your primary means of getting to work or handling daily obligations. Otherwise, you might go out in a situation where you are very likely to get hurt in a crash.

Not only can you easily lose traction in bad weather, but you have to account for how other drivers will not be on the lookout for motorcycles at all in inclement weather. Recognizing and adjusting your habits for the most common causes of motorcycle collisions can help you make safer choices regardless of the season.