There are few states more suited for motorcyclists than Texas. The land seems to stretch into eternity, the terrain is varied but navigable, and the climate is mild enough to allow for year-round riding. However, the unfortunate truth is that the more you ride, the more likely you are to get into an accident. Texas is therefore one of the most dangerous places for motorcyclists in the U.S.—Gear Patrol named it the second worst state for motorcycle fatalities in 2019.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to remain safe while biking. In addition to following basic motorcycle safety rules, there are additional precautions worth taking depending on the time of year. Our personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of James M. Stanley detail some seasonal motorcycle safety tips below.
Thanks to Texas’ massive size, the climate can vary greatly from city to city. However, winters are generally mild across the state. Unless you are riding in the northern and western parts of Texas, which are far less populous than the southeast, snowfall is rare. However, rural roads are more dangerous than urban streets, so resist the urge to speed even if there is no one else on the road.
On those winter days when a cold front does come in, you’ll want to take extra care that your motorcycle is in working order. Because low temperatures can cause tire pressure to drop, ensure that your tires are inflated properly before riding. Once you get on the road, give your tires some time to warm up by driving slowly for the first few minutes.
Years in which El Nino is a factor generally see colder, snowier winters. Combat the cold by bundling up appropriately to keep your body both warm and protected. If there is snow on the road, increase your following distance behind other vehicles.
Texas springs are typically warm and wet. Always ride defensively on rainy days. Motorists are most at risk of crashing during the first few minutes after a storm begins because this is when the road is most slippery. Reduce your speed and increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, as it takes longer to come to a full stop on a wet road.
High winds are another factor to be aware of, especially in the northern part of the state. Dust storms and tornados can occur without warning, so always pay attention to weather alerts and dress appropriately.
Texas summers are hot and humid, but this doesn’t mean you can risk wearing less while riding. Motorcycle gear is meant to protect bikers from injuries like cuts and scrapes. Long sleeves and pants can also protect you from the burning sun. To avoid overheating, purchase motorcycle gear made specifically for riding in warm climates made with lighter fabrics for increased ventilation. Also, don’t forget to take precautions against dehydration and sunburn.
Autumn days are typically pleasant and clear. However, pleasant days can suddenly turn stormy without warning. Flooding is also common in Texas during both the fall and spring. Because the weather can be unpredictable this time of year, we recommend riding as safely as possible and carrying gear appropriate for both dry and rainy weather.
In areas with falling foliage, leaves can cover obstructions and warning indictors on the road, so exercise caution if visibility is low.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a motorcycle accident, the personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of James M. Stanley are here to help. We’ve been representing injured motorcyclists in Texas for over 40 years. Get in touch online to schedule your free consultation today.