Florida is one of the most beautiful, enjoyable places to ride a motorcycle — most of the time. But when hurricane season arrives, weather conditions can make riding your bike unsafe and uncomfortable.
While you may never plan to set out on a ride in hurricane weather, storms can pop up quickly throughout the Florida Panhandle, leaving you stranded in bad weather. Here are tips for safe rides in Florida when a hurricane is threatened.
Wear the Right Rain Gear
Setting out on your bike in a T-shirt and shorts won’t do you much good during a rainstorm. Acquiring the appropriate rain gear now can help you prepare for Florida’s rainy season.
Here is a list of recommended gear during a rainy ride:
- Waterproof jacket
- Waterproof pants
- Boots with good traction
- Helmet with a face shield
Wearing a helmet is important any time you ride, but it’s even more crucial when you set out in potentially hazardous conditions. Be sure to obtain a DOT-approved helmet to stay safe on your Florida Panhandle ride.
Stick to Familiar Roads
When you find yourself stuck on your bike in the middle of a rain storm, you may be tempted to tough it out and take the shortest route home. But downpours in Florida can lead to poor visibility, which can prove hazardous. It’s best to stick to roads you’re familiar with as you ride out a rainstorm.
Of course, your first order of business should be to seek shelter until the storm passes. But if you must get to your destination during a downpour, you’ll find familiar roads easier to navigate through low-visibility conditions.
Be Aware of Slick Spots
The Florida Panhandle can go days or weeks without any rain, then see downpours for many days in a row. If it hasn’t rained in a while, the streets may have dirt, oil, and grease buildup from vehicles and construction. Once the rain hits, these spots can become extra slick, limiting your traction.
As you ride your motorcycle during hurricane season, watch out for slick spots. The areas right before intersections tend to have the most oil and grease buildup, making them potentially more dangerous.
Know How to Correct Hydroplaning
Florida downpours often happen too quickly and intensely for storm drains to handle. That’s why you’ll see puddles and flooding occur fast once a downpour begins.
Riding through thick puddles can be dangerous on your motorcycle. First, you never know how deep a puddle is until you reach it. You don’t want to risk flooding your motorcycle and ruining the engine in a puddle you thought was only an inch deep.
However, sometimes entire streets can become flooded in minutes, before you have a chance to reach safety. If you find your motorcycle hydroplaning through a puddle, follow these steps to correct yourself:
- Keep your hands firmly on the handlebars.
- Lay off the throttle.
- Try to regain control of your bike.
- Avoid speeding up until you are through the puddle.
Stay Home When Severe Weather is On the Radar
The best way to stay safe during Florida’s hurricane season is to save your motorcycling for better weather. If you see any severe weather in the forecast, we recommend rescheduling your ride for another day. There will be plenty of nice days to take your bike out once the hurricane weather has cleared. If possible, garage your bike during stormy weather.
With these Florida hurricane motorcycle safety tips in mind, you can take the necessary precautions to stay safe on your bike during hurricane season. But if you find yourself a victim of a motorcycle crash, our Law Tigers team can help. Contact us today at 1-888-863-7216 to schedule your complimentary consultation.