Riding your motorcycle in the winter is a different thrill. The cool, crisp air is an indescribable experience for non-riders and a joy to those who love to hit the open road. But riding your motorcycle during the winter will present specific hazards in addition to the normal hazards you face year-round. Understanding these hazards and how your motorcycle insurance policy can protect you can best prepare you to ride safely and remain prepared should an incident occur.
Black Ice and Slippery Roads
Most riders in Texas may not see snowy roads but ice is still a potential hazard for many. Black ice is when a sheer, transparent layer of ice forms on the road. It is not easily detectable as it is not seen and can take away your motorcycle’s traction. Wet roads that are exposed to temperatures under 32 degrees are at risk of forming black ice. Freezing rain and melted snow which refreezes may also cause black ice.
Riders are at an increased risk of dealing with black ice on bridges and overpasses. Here, airflow underneath the road can help create colder conditions that facilitate and maintain icy conditions. Take a look at some of these easy ways to stay prepared for black ice:
- Monitor the weather before riding.
- Pay extra attention to bridges and overpasses after rain in colder temperatures and/or snowfall.
- Enroll in the proper motorcycle insurance coverages.
Riding in unsafe conditions is never a good idea. Always err on the side of caution and stay up to date on the driving conditions you’ll face when hitting the road.
Sand and Salt Can Also Create Slippery Conditions
You’re unlikely to find sand and salt being used to create safer roads in say, Galveston, Texas, however, if you are traveling north or out of Texas, you may run into these conditions. Traction is key and using salt and sand to create traction for vehicles on snowy roads is a common practice in many other states. The issue comes when the snow melts. Sand and salt may remain and can congregate to create slippery conditions for riders. This irony shouldn’t be overlooked as without the right traction, you’ll lose control and are likely to crash.
Beware of Hypothermia
The cool air hitting your body on the open road is an exhilarating experience for many thrill-seekers, but staying bundled is still a critical component. Layering on clothes may seem like the end of your concerns, however, there are hypothermia risks that persist. When your body begins to sweat, you’ll find yourself actually getting colder as the cool air and moisture lowers your core temperature. This may lead to hypothermia and while this condition is never healthy, experiencing it while riding can be a critical misstep that leads to discomfort, distraction, and the possibility of a crash. Additional risks include drowsiness, a lack of motor skills, and a reduction in critical thinking. Accidents can lead to costly property repairs, liability issues, injury, and even death. Stay protected with motorcycle insurance to help you restore your losses after an accident and always avoid riding in unsafe conditions.
Tire Maintenance is Important for Proper Traction
Maintaining your tires year-round is important for any rider. You’ll want to be sure that your motorcycle has tires with enough tread before hitting the road. Tires made specifically for winter conditions can also be a great option, especially for riders traveling into colder parts of the country. One of the easiest to keep up with, but also overlook, is the air pressure in your tires. As temperatures drop, so too can the air pressure of your tires. Check your air pressure before traveling and maintain the proper amount of air in your tires according to their manufacturing guidelines for better traction and a safer ride.
Impaired Holiday Drivers
There are plenty of celebrations to be had throughout winter. Families and friends gather in homes, bars, restaurants, offices, and more to spend time together and relax. These gatherings also mean plenty of opportunities to enjoy substances such as alcohol that can impair drivers. Always beware of impaired drivers but keep an extra eye out during the holiday season. Be sure to do your part by always riding sober and keeping our Texan highways safer now and all year long.
Freedom Insurance Group Protects Riders in Texas
Riders have a lot of hazards to watch out for during the winter season and staying prepared includes having the right motorcycle insurance. Your coverage can help you pay for repairs after an accident, mitigate legal and medical expenses, provide roadside assistance, and protect you from liability. Motorcycle insurance is mandatory by law but also serves an important role in keeping you protected on the road.
No matter what kind of motorcycle you ride, the team at Freedom Insurance Group is here for you. We help riders throughout Texas stay safe and prepared should they suffer a loss. By working with more than 25 top-rated insurance brands, we can compare your coverage needs throughout the industry and provide the lowest rate possible. Our clients protect themselves while saving 40% on average without cutting their coverage. If you live to ride, contact us today to get the protection you deserve for the lowest price on the market.