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Good Bikers and Bad Weather in Virginia (Part One of Two)

You cannot really forecast the weather, no matter how carefully you planned your weekend motorcycle ride to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The weather can change without warning, and so should you if you find yourself on your motorcycle, far away from home, in pouring rain and strong winds.

With bad weather, your motorcycle ride may become unpleasant, but should not turn into a nightmare. Apart from spending a day or two waiting under a bridge, what should you do to reach your destination in bad weather and avoid crashing your motorcycle?

Adjusting to bad weather

  • Slower speed: As an experienced Virginia motorcyclist, your first reaction should be to lower your speed. On a wet road surface, your traction is reduced by at least 40 percent. You may have trouble keeping a steady path in very windy conditions - another reason to slow down. Rain and dark skies also reduce your vision considerably.
  • Protective gear: Having the appropriate gear is what makes your motorcycle ride safe and comfortable. Do not leave home without the usual safety gear (helmet, boots, leather clothes, gloves, and goggles or visor). You need to make sure your clothes are waterproof and insulate you against the cold. Temperatures drop in bad weather, and the combination of wind and rain will freeze you. With numb feet and fingers, your focus and reaction time will decline to a dangerously low level.
  • Smooth maneuvering: In bad weather, experienced bikers avoid abrupt braking, acceleration, and steering and are acutely aware of the dangers of sliding and losing control of the motorcycle. The front wheel has the greatest braking power, but also offers the greatest risk of falling if the wheel locks. The trick is to use the brakes on both wheels very gradually and repeatedly to acquire a feel of how the motorcycle reacts. Riding at a slower speed, you give yourself more time to avoid an obstacle and maneuver smoothly. 

Bad weather changes the rules of the game entirely. Smart Virginia motorcyclists must change the way they play.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Virginia car, truck, or motorcycle accident, please contact our Warrenton or Culpeper attorneys today for a free discussion of your accident case. You will have a clear view how our lawyers can help protect your rights.