For enthusiastic motorcycle riders, it may be possible to rely primarily on two-wheeled transportation for the entire year in Kentucky. With the exception of days when there is significant snowfall or lingering snow and ice on the streets, it is feasible to rely on your motorcycle as your primary mode of transportation even in the winter months.
Of course, there are unique hazards during the colder seasons that drivers cannot ignore. Once the temperature starts dropping in the fall, your crash risks on your motorcycle will potentially increase. What seasonal concerns do you need to consider for your own safety when riding a motorcycle in Kentucky?
Drivers think of motorcycles as seasonal transportation
One of the biggest threats to a motorcyclist’s safety on public roads is the potential for other drivers to not see them. Despite how large and loud many motorcycles are, the drivers who hit them in traffic often claim they didn’t see the motorcycle.
Their failure to notice a motorcycle is the result of intentional blindness. They may look right at the motorcycle and never cognitively recognize its presence because their brain doesn’t consider the motorcycle enough of a threat to prioritize.
People generally need to actively look for motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians to reduce the chance of causing a crash. Given that most people think of motorcycles as summertime transportation, they will be less likely to watch for motorcycles once temperatures start dropping and are therefore more likely to hit a motorcycle.
Road conditions can compromise motorcycle performance
Even when there isn’t visible snow or ice on the road, colder temperatures can increase your overall collision risk. For example, colder pavement temperatures can affect the air pressure in your tires and may lead to issues with you losing traction or having trouble maneuvering and stopping quickly.
Colder temperatures could also lead to numbness in your hands and fingers, which might make it harder for you to stop quickly even when the road conditions don’t reduce your traction. Additionally, winter weather precipitation can easily lead to crashes, and even the remaining leaves that came down in the autumn can be a risk. They can lead to drivers sliding on the road or failing to spot other dangerous factors, like potholes and debris in the street.
Making safety your top priority will reduce your likelihood of experiencing a motorcycle crash regardless of how frequently you go out to ride.