Most motorcyclists will admit that nothing comes close to the feeling of bombing down the open road on a bright afternoon. But what happens when the clear blue skies turn grey and an imminent downpour threatens your ride?
As it turns out, come June and through November, it’s hurricane season in Florida. While some people opt to stow their bikes until the end of the season, others prefer to ride throughout the year, hoping to weather the storm (quite literally). If you’re in the latter category, you may need to read about riding a motorcycle during Florida’s hurricane season to stay safe.
While we’re still on the subject, let’s imagine that you’re involved in an accident due to stormy weather. First, you would need to seek treatment. Thereafter, with the assistance of a Hale Law attorney, you can file a compensation claim or pursue legal action in case of personal injury. Meanwhile, depending on what you opt to do (ride or stow your bike), you can use the following tips to plan so you’re not caught napping.
1. Track the Weather
If you decide to head out for a ride during the stormy season, you’re likely to have an encounter with mother nature. Thus, before hitting the road, understand the projected weather pattern for the day by checking online forecasts or watching TV. While at it, follow weather alerts so that you’re in the know. Generally, the alerts you get fall into three categories, namely:
● Advisories- Informing you of less severe weather such as windy conditions.
● Watches- These alerts notify you of the possibility of a hurricane in a given large area over a defined period.
● Warnings- A hurricane is imminent if you get an alert of this nature. Typically, warnings are issued if wind gusts exceeding 40 mph are expected over a precise location for a given period.
Better still, download a weather app to update you on prevailing weather conditions. That way, you can access accurate and up-to-the-minute weather updates.
2. Wear the Right Gear
Considering that motorcycling is inherently dangerous, it goes without saying that riding while a hurricane is likely or approaching compounds the danger. As such, ensure you wear the best safety gear before heading out. This includes a helmet, waterproof rain suit, gloves, and boots to keep you dry.
Along the same lines, ensure your helmet spots an anti-fog visor for optimal visibility as you ride in heavy rain. Plus, your gear should have reflective strips so that other road users can see you. As we often say, it’s better safe than sorry.
3. Steer Clear of Slick Roads
When it pours, the roads tend to be slippery, increasing the possibility of an accident if you make judgment errors. Plus, treacherous road conditions minimize visibility, which could put you in harm’s way. Besides, other hazards such as oil spills could worsen the situation. Watch out for dirt or other debris, especially in areas close to stopping signs or after a heavy downpour if there has been a long dry spell.
And if a sudden storm ruins your plans while out on the road, find the nearest exit, and make your way to a large building where you can seek temporary refuge. Once you’re safe, track the conditions to determine if you can safely continue your ride once the storm blows over.
4. Stow Your Bike
It’s best to stay home during a hurricane. You could wear the right gear and make calculated maneuvers but still, get involved in an accident due to someone else’s fault. If you can’t stay home, consider using other means such as traveling by car. Otherwise, store your bike. After all, the stormy season will soon pass, allowing you to get back to your favorite pastime. To keep your bike safe, consider:
● Raising it. If you live in an area prone to flooding, lift the bike onto a table or other elevated surface and strap it down, so it doesn’t fall off. Shield your motorcycle from strong winds by positioning it next to a wall.
● Wrapping it- Cover your bike with a rain-resistant tarp. Doing so may also prevent scratching or dinging by flying debris.
● Removing custom pieces- Remove, wrap, and store the bike’s custom accessories in a safer spot other than your garage. While at it, remove the windshield to avert damage.
As you’ve noted, knowing what to do before, during, or after a storm can help you stay safe during a hurricane. Otherwise, you could make costly errors and end up in the ER. But in the event of an unfortunate (injury), you can count on a personal injury attorney at Hale Law to safeguard your interests and pursue your rights.
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