Melbourne, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/05/2012 -- Many riders, even those who are experienced, have a tendency to tense up when an unexpected rain shower pops up. But is it possible to ride safely when your hands are so tightly tensed around the handlebars, your knuckles are white? Or when your shoulders are tensed up around the ears? How about when your body is pumping with nervous adrenaline? Probably not! So, here are some tips from Sinclair Law to help quell your nervousness and help you learn more about how to ride safely and confidently in rain and other wet conditions.
(1) Wear the right gear: Wearing a motorcycle rain suit can make a tremendous difference in your comfort while riding in the rain. It’s simple: When you are comfortable, you can devote all of your attention to the road. Look for a good quality rain suit, available in one-piece and two-piece fashions. Also, have a good pair of waterproof boots, which will prevent water from seeping in. Another excellent addition to your rain gear is a pair of waterproof gloves made with a visor-friendly material. This will allow you to wipe rain droplets from your visor without risking scratches.
(2) Relax: The first 5 minutes of a sudden downpour in Florida are the worst for driving, and sometimes summer afternoon showers only last 15 minutes total. So, if you get caught in a major downpour, don’t hesitate to pull over and wait it out for a little bit. Safely pull to the side of the highway under an underpass, or stop at a rest stop. If you choose to keep riding, make sure to stay relaxed and supple on your bike. Try not to become rigid or tense. Keep your head, neck, shoulders, and hips as relaxed as possible.
(3) Aim for smoothness and control: Be gentle on your throttle, and try to complete all of your turns before accelerating. Whenever possible, try to plan ahead and avoid last minute reactions. Think ahead and try to anticipate when you will need to accelerate or decelerate. This will allow you ample time to perform stops, turns, and accelerations on a slippery road without incident.
(4) Brake correctly: When you need to brake, squeeze, don’t grab. If you ease into the force of the brake progressively, it will allow you to stop smoothly, whereas a sudden amount of force may cause you to lose traction. Traction will be one of your biggest concerns when riding in wet weather, so don’t be afraid to test it out by trying to lock out your rear wheel (not your front). As long as your tires are in good condition, you may have more traction than you think on a wet road. Also, consider the tread depth on your motorcycle tires. A deeper-treaded tire is able to sheet more water away from the contact area of the tire, preventing aquaplaning.
(5) Avoid shiny surfaces: Shiny surfaces such as painted lanes on the road, railroad tracks, oil spills, manhole covers, and metal grates on bridges can all become dangerously slick when it is wet outside. Try to avoid them as much as possible. Also, keep an eye out for potholes, and, of course, maintain a safe speed.
(6) Know your rights and responsibilities: Other vehicle drivers can experience impaired visibility in the rain, which increases your risk of a collision with a vehicle. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in the rain, you will need an attorney. An attorney who is experienced with the motorcycle laws in Florida will be your best ally. Visit SinclairLaw.com today for more information.