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How to stay safe whilst riding a motorbike this winter

The joys of riding in the hot summer sun can feel like a distant memory for some motorcyclists as winter begins to take a hold of Britain. Dark nights, wet roads and cold weather all combine throughout the winter months to make it one of the most dangerous times of the year for those who ride motorbikes to be on the roads.

With this in mind, we have compiled a list of essential tips that can help each motorcyclist stay as safe as possible and continue riding long into the spring injury-free.

General winter checks

Throughout the summer it’s common practice for bikers to check their bikes on a regular basis in order to ensure they can make the most of the good weather and ride for longer.

When winter strikes, the cold and damp weather can deter some riders from checking their motorbike as regularly as they perhaps should.

The essential parts of the bike that should be checked on a regular basis include the tyres, lights, brakes, oil, stand and the main body of the bike.

Degradation can be accelerated during winter due to the wet weather and the increased presence of salt on the roads when the council grits the roads when the area’s temperature plunges, therefore it’s essential that bikers keep on top of their safety checks.

On cold days, in particular, give yourself a few extra minutes to start the bike, and let it run for a few minutes so that all the components get time to warm up.

Keep your distance

Whilst you should never ride your motorcycle too close to another vehicle, it’s particularly important that you don’t during winter.

Whether it’s rain, wind ice or snow, the weather can have a big impact on the stopping distance of a vehicle. The further back you can remain from the vehicle in front the better, as you’ll have an increased window of opportunity to react should you need to hit the brakes hard due to something that happens further ahead.

Failing to check your braking distance properly could result in a serious accident which could leave you and others with life-changing injuries.

Gear

For bikers it can sometimes be difficult to know what gear you may need for different days during winter, however, there are a few pieces of gear that every biker should wear.

Helmet

A motorcycle helmet is an essential part of any bikers riding gear and it has the potential to save a bikers life in the event of an accident. Make sure you invest in one that you’ll feel comfortable riding in and it’s also wise to invest in some peel-offs for your helmet’s visor as the salt of and rain can make visibility difficult, the peel-offs can be layered so that no matter how wet or dirty they get you can peel yourself a new and improved level of visibility.

Clothing

Outerwear is almost as important as a motorbike helmet as it has the potential to prevent what may otherwise be a serious injury.

Whilst leathers and kevlar are staples for riders across the country, during winter, bikers don’t only need to wear the right clothing to protect them from falls or accidents, they also need to consider the cold.

A balaclava and thermal clothing and liners for your gloves should be a priority as the cold can slow down a bikers reaction times, increasing the chance that an accident may happen.

Wearing a high-viz vest or jacket should also be a priority as it can help other road users see you better, particularly if you need to ride at night.

Boots

Every biker should also invest in protective biker boots. If possible go for ones with steel toecaps for added protection. Whilst boots are important all year round, they are particularly important during winter as roads have added dirt and debris on them and the cold can cause roads to degrade and kick up pieces of asphalt as you ride.

Know your limits

When you can see your bike sat in the garage or out in front of the house, it can be an almost irresistible urge to hop on and take it out for a ride, however, it’s important you bike with your head and not with your heart.

Before you head out in winter, make sure you’ve checked the weather forecast, you assess the conditions on the day you plan on riding and most of all bike smart. If the conditions show any signs of being icy then you might be better off giving the bike a miss on that day to ensure you stay safe.

Have emergency services to hand

Whether it’s an ambulance, the police, or even emergency breakdown cover, if you need to call someone in an emergency, it’s important that you have a mobile phone to hand.

For those who ride a motorcycle as a takeaway delivery driver, we’ve also created an essential app called Takeaway Delivery Assist.

The aim of the app is to help takeaway delivery drivers involved in a motorcycle accident whilst making a food delivery. Takeaway Delivery Assist allows takeaway delivery drivers to begin their claim from the scene of the accident and record information including images of the scene of the accident that could assist our solicitors who pursue the claim for you.

What to do if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident this winter

If you’re involved in motorbike accident during this winter your first priority should be your health and wellbeing. Make sure that you obtain medical assistance as soon as possible following the accident.

Following a motorcycle accident, it’s important to also instruct an expert solicitor who has experience in handling motorcycle injury claims. Thorneycroft Solicitors Catastrophic Injury team has developed a particular expertise in handling motorcycle injury claims.

With our Head Office being based in Macclesfield, just a stone’s throw from the infamous Cat & Fiddle road, which is a well-known motorcycle route with bikers, we have seen first hand the effect that a motorcycle accident can have on both the biker and their family.

We aim to do all we can to not only secure the financial compensation you deserve but also ensure you get the rehabilitative treatment and emotional support that both you and your family may need following your accident.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team to discuss a potential claim you can request a call back by completing our online enquiry form or you can call us for free on 0800 1979 345.

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