It may not be that surprising to learn that Tennessee has some of the most enthusiastic motorcyclists in the nation. As a result of warmer weather and an extended riding season, Tennessee roads welcome thousands of bikers—both resident and tourists—every year. Unfortunately, the popularity of motorcycling in Tennessee also makes it a top-ranked state for motorcycle accidents and fatalities. On average, the state sees over 3,000 motorcycle accidents and 150 fatalities every year.
According to the Tennessee Department of Safety, although many motorcyclists avoid riding in poor weather conditions, over 4% of fatalities and accidents are the direct result of poor visibility and road conditions caused by poor weather.
Whether it’s 100 degrees, stormy, or windy, as a motorcyclist, you need to protect yourself from potential riding threats. Although you may not think a few raindrops can affect your control, you don’t want to bet your life on it. Common weather conditions in Tennessee include heavy rains, snow and ice, and fog, all of which can wreak havoc on your ability to control your motorcycle and ride safely. The two main riding factors affected by weather include road conditions and visibility.
- Road conditions. Storms and forceful winds can cause roads to become slippery, flooded, and covered with mud or debris. The instability of motorcycles is a danger by itself, but when you place added obstacles on the road, riders can easily lose control. Furthermore, high winds can cause an otherwise stable rider to waver, placing him at risk for riding through or over a roadway hazard.
- Visibility. Torrential rains, wind gusts, and fog can all affect your vision and your ability to see and navigate through traffic. Rain drops can sting the eyes or pool on goggles, while the wind blows debris such as leaves and sticks toward your face. A sudden temperature drop can cloud or fog your face mask or goggles, making it impossible to see obstacles and traffic.
The bottom line is that whether you want to believe it or not, Mother Nature can play a significant role in your motorcycle safety. Therefore, you must take steps to combat her influence to avoid serious injury.
The next time you decide to hit the open road on your bike, remember to take the weather into consideration and always:
- Pay attention. It doesn’t matter if the sky is blue or cracking open with the fury of a storm, as a motorcyclist you always need to pay attention to the weather and road conditions. A slight drizzle or flurry can immediately cause a dry road to become slick and dangerous. Furthermore, sudden downpours can drastically affect your vision, increasing your risk for causing an accident. Before you take your bike for a ride, check weather reports and road conditions to ensure a safe ride.
- Wear proper riding gear. You should wear proper attire like boots, long durable jeans, helmets (with visors or goggles), and gloves every time you ride. However, when the weather threatens to increase your risk of an accident, this gear can be a life-saver.
- Maintain proper safety equipment. Every single time you take your motorcycle out for a spin, double check its maintenance. Are the tires fully inflated? Have the brakes been checked recently? Is there ice or mud in the tire treads?
- Weigh the risks. Motorcycles are inherently less safe than enclosed, four-wheel vehicles. When the weather threatens road conditions and visibility, weigh your travel options carefully. Do you really need to take your motorcycle, or will finding another mode of transportation be the smarter choice?
- Seek medical attention immediately. If you suffer an accident despite your precautions, you need to seek medical attention immediately. In addition to treatment, a medical report can be essential evidence for your injury claim.
Pursuing Your Claim
Despite the reason you lost control of your bike, insurance companies will try their best to place the blame squarely on your shoulders. Although you can’t control the weather, Mother Nature can’t be held liable for your accident—you can.
Motorcycle accident attorney John Griffith can help you avoid the blame game and get you the settlement your injuries require. Rather than having to defend your actions, GriffithLaw can give you the resources and insider advice you need to build a strong claim. Call us today at 615-807-7900 to get started.
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