Florida weather can bring unexpected thunderstorms on almost a daily basis. While these weather events may only last one to two hours, the storms are sometimes violent, earning the Sunshine State the designation of the unofficial “lightning capital of the word.” More people are struck by lightning in Florida than any other state.
Prioritizing Safety While Riding
For motorcyclists, a bike ride carries certain risks. Last-minute rainfall can make riding treacherous. While not the best option for inclement weather, for many Floridians, two-wheel transportation is their preferred mode of travel.
Staying safe requires certain steps that all motorcyclists should follow:
- First and foremost, motorcyclists require “sticky” tires that will grip the road. Traveling on slick tires could result in catastrophe, particularly during a storm.
- Avoid travel if there is a storm watch or warning. While waiting out a storm is a smart and safe move, going for a ride immediately after rainfall stops is unwise. Rain-soaked roads covered with dirt and grime can make the smallest wet patch dangerous.
- Be cautious when encountering obstacles. In addition to fallen trees and other debris following a storm, manholes and railroad tracks become extremely slippery after even the smallest amount of rain.
Regardless of weather conditions, proactive steps can make a difference. Accelerating and braking should be done safely and slowly. Maintaining a reasonable speed and allowing for space between other vehicles makes sudden braking more effective. Also, wearing gear – waterproof jackets, pants, gloves, and boots –provides protection and allows motorcyclists to “be seen.”
Sadly, no amount of care and protection can prevent a negligent driver from causing a serious accident. Not having the luxury of an enclosure makes motorcyclists more likely to suffer severe injuries. More tragically, some simply don’t come back from a leisurely ride.