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Motorcycling on Sunny Winter Days – Are You Aware of the Risks?

Is spring on its way? Or is winter fighting back with a sting in its tail? It’s hard to tell at the moment with freezing cold temperatures coupled with crisp sunny days, and nights that are drawing out that little bit later.

The second half of February brings out the eternal optimist in most of us. We’ve survived the January blues and have endured six weeks of dark mornings and evenings since returning to work after the festive break, but with the sun remaining in the sky past 5pm now, many of us are jumping for joy, saying “spring’s on its way!”

A recent sunny weekend saw a number of motorcyclists on the road, lured out by that little bit of extra daylight that allowed them to enjoy a full afternoon’s biking. When the sun has her hat on at this time of year it’s lovely, but it can still get very cold very quickly and temperatures can drop sharply, making the motorcycle accident risk that little bit greater for those caught unaware.

Here are some things to consider if you’re heading out on your motorbike on a cold and sunny winter’s day:

  • Prep like a pro – make sure you’re fully prepared before heading out on your bike, and especially check your tyres. Although 1mm is the minimum tread depth required by law, it’s widely recommended that no less than 2mm helps bikers cope better with wet roads and standing water.
  • Black ice – as the ground can freeze before the air does, black ice can form at an air temperature of 4°C, sometimes catching the most experienced motorcyclist out.
  • Be seen – always wear a hi-vis jacket and consider wearing layered clothing. Sunglasses too can be a big help – they’re not just for the summer months and can help you see better when the sun is low in the sky.
  • Sun glare – talking of the low winter sun, all motorcyclists should exercise caution when turning around blind corners or going over the brow of a hill. Midweek motorcyclists should especially be aware at the moment when the sun is setting around rush hour when there are lots of other road users about.

You can learn more motorcycle safety tips at the UK Government’s Think! website.

Are you a motorcyclist? Do you take any special safety precautions in the winter months? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free consultation to anyone injured in a motorbike accident through no fault of their own.

Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and expert legal advice is just a phone call away. Call us on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help you.

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