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Riding in High Wind: Motorcycle Safety

Anyone who has ever gone motorcycling in the wind can relate to just how jostling an experience it can be. (If you haven’t experienced riding in high wind yet, documentation  from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration establishes just how challenging they can be for motorcyclists.)

Do not let anyone kid you. Riding in high wind is tough, even if you have logged hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of miles on your motorcycle.

The unpredictability of the wind often makes controlling and balancing a motorcycle, especially in high wind conditions where the risk of motorcycle accidents increases, an especially challenging task. Fortunately, with the appropriate advice, motorcyclists can ride safely in high winds. This means getting to your destination without falling off your bike, getting into a collision, or worse. For motorcyclists who want to make the most of riding on Long Island or in other parts of the New York City area, consider the following advice.

The Impact of Riding in High Wind

Wind can not only push your motorcycle to the side but also make it more challenging to maintain a straight line. Make sure to hold a tight grasp on your handlebars. You can even use your body to counteract the wind to stay balanced, but this takes practice. Leaning into the wind can help you maintain both balance and control. Additionally, consider purchasing a windscreen for your motorcycle, as it can deflect a substantial amount of wind.

Not only should you be prepared for the wind and any rain, sleet, or snow you might face, but you should also be prepared for your ride by wearing the right gear. A high-quality, tight-fitting helmet protects you from the wind as well as any debris it might carry. Wearing tight-fitting clothes lowers wind drag.

Appreciate How the High Wind Impacts Riders

When it is windy, motorcyclists have to contend with much more than just air currents. Riders should also be prepared to face a range of objects that are blown around in the wind.

Wind can kick up things like dirt, dust, and other types of debris that can obscure visibility. If you plan on riding in windy conditions, be prepared to give extra attention and caution to your surroundings.

Sometimes, unexpected gusts of wind can even push your motorcycle toward the edge of the road or into oncoming traffic. Lastly, understand that driving in the wind can easily exhaust bikers and quickly lead to fatigue.

Keep an Eye on the Weather

Motorcyclists should make it a practice to stay up to date with the forecasted weather before heading out on the road, which should include anticipating wind conditions to minimize the risk of motorcycle crashes. Both the speed and direction of the wind can influence your bike’s handling and your ability to control it. By staying informed about wind conditions, you can ensure that your riding choices are as informed as possible.

Gain Sufficient Experience Riding in High Wind

Comfort and skill vary greatly among motorcyclists. For newer riders, as well as those who feel less secure riding, gaining substantial experience in practice settings before heading out on the road is critical. Many motorcyclists find it beneficial to begin by riding in light winds and gradually work up to heavier gusts as they gain increased confidence in their riding abilities and improve their skills at handling their bikes.

Be Prepared to Adjust Your Speed

Strong gusts of wind can easily disrupt your bike. Because wind has a greater impact on bikes traveling at high speeds, taking some time to slow down can provide riders with additional time to respond not only to bursts of wind but also to various other hazards, including objects that might be blown around.

Stay Alert

Remember, various open areas including bridges, highways, and gaps between buildings are often spots where the strongest winds blow. As a result, utilize your highest degree of caution when traveling in these areas. Besides the wind itself, remain alert to large vehicles on the road, including trucks and buses, because these vehicles can create unexpected wind patterns.

Communicate with Other Riders

It is always a good idea to communicate with friends or others you might be riding with, but this becomes even more important in adverse weather conditions such as high wind. Using either hand signals or spoken words to communicate with others can help you navigate obstacles and avoid upcoming dangers while traveling in windy weather conditions.

Plan Your Route in Advance

Planning your riding route allows you to avoid areas where the wind is strongest. This way, you can stay safe if the wind becomes too intense or if you grow too tired to continue riding in such harsh conditions. Driving in high wind can be difficult, especially for less experienced riders, but various driving strategies and adequate preparation can make even the most challenging conditions less threatening. Remember, while riding experience can be helpful, the more you prepare in advance for your ride, the better off you will be.

Consult With an Experienced Accident Attorney

If you or someone you care about is injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s actions, seeking legal assistance is crucial. Contact The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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