i came across this piece from the British Motorcycle Industry Association on winter riding, and thought that it was interesting because:
(a) there was a trend towards fewer people taking their bikes off the roads over the winter (in the UK - no idea whether that holds here too, altho in tougher economic times, there is an attraction to using cheaper transportation), and
(b) there was interesting information about causes of accidents, and steps one might take to avoid them. nothing earth-shaking (perhaps even rather soporific), but even reiterating the 'standard' advice (lights, visibility, care, warmth) is worthwhile.
26th October 2009
The official end of the summer is no longer an excuse for bikers to pack their bikes away for the winter, according to the Motor Cycle Industry Association today (26th). The MCIA’s analysis of new Government data shows that more and more UK bikers are committing to the benefits of biking all year round.
The MCI’s analysis of Government taxation data (1) shows that 156,000 more bikes were kept taxed and ready for use throughout winter 2008 than were five years ago. The result is one-third fewer bikes are taken off the road in Winter than in 2001. The MCI is marking the end of British Summer Time by reminding these hardy riders of the hazards they need to be aware of to stay safe in the months ahead:-
• Poor grip: 8% of motorcycle crashes in 2008 were caused by ‘slippery road due to weather’ (2)
• Reduced visibility: 1% of crashes were caused because the rider suffered ‘vision affected by rain, sleet, snow or fog’. (2)
• Reduced concentration : Cold temperatures can impair mental function and make it more difficult to complete complex task (3)
The MCI is urging all road users to act responsibly and follow simple safety advice that could save a life during the British winter.
• Turn your lights on before it is fully dark – but don’t dazzle on high beam
• Reduce speed in adverse weather conditions - fog, rain and ice
• Check mirrors regularly
• Don’t intimidate other road users – give each other space when road conditions are poor
• Be seen - motorcyclists can increase their visibility by wearing reflective clothing such as a reflective jacket
• Be warm – buy or borrow winter kit which offers better protection from the elements.
MCIA spokeperson Sheila Rainger said, “Winter riding brings its own unique challenges. Shivering through a wintry shower is the downside, a cold clear mid-day ride the reward.
“In the dark mornings ahead, riders and drivers alike need to be more vigilant for everyone’s safety, and to give each other a little extra consideration. Drivers in particular should not be complacent about their driving style and remember that even if they themselves are warm, comfortable and focused, other road users may be finding the conditions more challenging.”
it'd sure be nice if the message to car drivers to give others (especially motorcyclists) a bit more consideration in poor weather in the gloomy hours of early morning and late afternoon was broadcast a bit better in BC.