While Florida is known as the Sunshine State, heavy rains are a routine part of the weather system for much of the year. They can also cause hazardous driving conditions – especially for motorcyclists. Defensive driving is always important for bikers, but special considerations should be made if you plan to take your motorcycle out for a ride during Florida’s “rainy season.” The following are some tips you should follow to stay safe and dry on the roads:
Check the Forecast:
It might sound obvious, but you should always check the weather forecast before you head out on the road, keeping in mind that weather can change quickly and drastically. Plan your route and look at satellite forecasts for your entire ride so you know whether you should expect inclement weather.
Motorcycle accident attorney (and enthusiast) John Castro always recommends full protective gear regardless of the weather. But if you know you’re likely to hit some rain, make sure you suit up with the following:
-Waterproof gloves, jackets and pants
-Anti-fog googles or face shield for visibility
-Add a bright bandana or accessories to your gear so that you are easier to spot by other motorists
-Cover bags or other gear with plastic
-Bring an extra pair of socks!
Slow Down & Leave Extra Distance:
When the roads are wet, lack of traction can increase break time. Reduce your speed so you have maximum control, and leave plenty of distance between you and other motorists in case of fast breaking. Avoid passing or weaving among other motorists as their visibility and traction will be reduced as well.
Beware of Standing Water & Debris:
Rain storms can create road hazards of many kinds. Roads can often flood quickly, and you should never try and drive through standing water as this can lead to hydroplaning and loss of control. Also watch out for dirt and debris that may have been washed into the road, tree branches knocked down by heavy winds, and other road hazards.
Know When To Take a Break:
Be smart. If it’s pouring rain and visibility is low, or if the weather system includes high winds, find a rest stop, gas station, or other safe place to pull over and wait out the storm. Florida storms can pass quickly but prove deadly for motorists – especially bikers – and it’s not worth risking your life to keep riding through bad weather.
Whether you’re planning a trip on one of Florida’s top scenic routes for motorcycles, or just trying to get from point A to point B on your bike, safety should always be your number one priority. Plan ahead during Florida’s rainy season so you arrive at your destination safe and dry.
And remember, if you are ever in a motorcycle accident, call John Castro for a motorcycle enthusiast and attorney who is dedicated to representing your best interests.