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Motorcycling Hazards During The Winter
Driving in winter conditions can be dangerous, so imagine tackling the road on a motorbike. Many fair weather motorcyclists store away their motorbikes over the winter period, and with good reason. Riding your bike in the winter is not very pleasant, but above all, you’re more at risk of having an accident.
However, if your motorbike is your only mode of transport, you may have no choice but to ride it during the winter.
Here’s a look at some of the hazards that motorcyclists have to face during the winter.
Invisible and deadly, black ice is one of the major causes of motorbike accidents during the winter.
Black ice is formed by a fine layer of moisture that freezes on the road surface when the temperature drops below freezing. (0 degrees centigrade).
It’s transparent, making it particularly difficult to see so it’s more likely to catch you unawares.
Black ice can form on any kind of uneven road surface where moisture gets trapped and doesn’t drain away.
Bridges and overpasses are particularly vulnerable to black ice as the temperature drops more quickly on elevated surfaces.
It’s also more likely to form in areas that don’t have access to direct sunlight such as tree-lined roads and tunnels.
There may be less traffic, but riding on rural roads can be even more hazardous than riding in cities during the winter, especially smaller roads that may not have been gritted during snowy and icy conditions.
Bends are particular accident hotspots. A bend that is smooth and effortless to drive through in good weather can shrink and tighten in winter conditions and if you don’t change your position or adjust your speed, you’ll most certainly have an accident.
It’s never pleasant riding a bike in the rain, but certain manoeuvres are even more hazardous in wet conditions. Water spray coming from heavy vehicles can stop you from seeing anything for crucial seconds and hitting water at speed can cause your bike to aquaplane and lose control.
As well as rain, snow and fog, shorter and darker winter days can dramatically reduce visibility on the roads. Drivers may misjudge a motorbike’s speed or pull out of a junction without seeing one
approaching. In the event of a collision, it’s nearly always the motorcyclist who comes off worse.
If your motorbike has been involved in an accident and you can’t sell your damaged motorbike, scrap it instead for instant cash.