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Motorcycle Safety Tips for the Rainy Season

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As the rainy season comes in full swing once more, it can get the better of a lot of cyclists, especially if they’re not equipped for the cruel road conditions up ahead. 

Don’t be part of the accident stats this year.

In this article, you’ll learn more about some tips to keep you and your motorcycle safe during this wet season.

Safety Above All Else

We can’t stress this enough.

After all, you can’t implement the rest of the tips here if you’re planning to go reckless once you embark on your journey.

How do you exactly ensure that you’ll observe safety at all times?

Constant observation of your environment is one. You need to look out for signs of possible collisions and ensure that you react in time.

Driving during an outpour is already a risk in itself because of the reduced friction between the wheels and the concrete surface. Don’t compound this risk by making sure you’re avoiding oil spills while you’re at it.

Do not underestimate puddles and pits when you see them. Avoid them at all costs to ensure that you’re in control while navigating the road.

With these things said, look for dry spots on the road if you get the chance. Aside from giving you a quick refuge on the slippery conditions, these can give your wheels some traction to increase friction.

Assessment and Maintenance

Before you embark on your motorcycle Philippines journey, check that all the parts and equipment are intact.

If your motorcycle is scheduled for its usual maintenance soon, don’t delay and have it checked already. Don’t assume that you’ll never encounter problems on the road just because you’re a “careful driver.”

 Here are some aspects of your motorcycle that you need to regularly assess and maintain:

  • Gas: Don’t travel on a low tank, especially if you expect to travel for hours. You don’t want to get stuck in the middle of the road just because you ran out of fuel.

  • Wheels: Check the tire pressure and replace them if you see signs of the rubber getting worn off.

  • Brakes: Check the brake oil levels, liners, pads, and drum brakes (if present) to ensure that you can get on a full stop when needed.

  • Lighting: Make sure the front and rear lights are working well. You’re already treading on low visibility levels when you’re driving in the rain–make the most of what you have to prevent risks on the road.

  • Reflectors: Consider these as another precaution to improve your visibility while on the road. Sure they’re not the coolest to put on display but if these can help keep you safe while driving, why not? 

While upgrading is optional, opt for the ones that can help you boost your safety while on the road. If you think you need better brakes because the first one is starting to wear out already, get it replaced as soon as possible.

No Rushing

Even if you’re itching to go for a ride right after the great downpour, resist the urge to do so. At this point, roads are still too slippery even for your motorcycle to navigate. So, it’s best to keep away from the road for at least 30 minutes more just to minimize the risks of braving slippery roads and other unsafe road conditions.

If you’re really, really in a hurry and have to travel ASAP, wait for 15 minutes at the very least to significantly minimize the risks of driving through wet concrete. With that said, drive slowly while keeping an eye on the road while you’re at it. 

In other words, be careful and be extra vigilant because the conditions will be mostly unforgiving at this point–not just for you but for the other motorists.

Another good reason to steer clear of the road during and even after a downpour is the risk of getting hit by lightning. While you may think this is one in a million chance anyway, don’t take chances. If you have to park outside, don’t do it under a tree, by all means! 

Slow Braking

Similar to driving a car, you need to consider your braking distance to ensure that you will not collide with the vehicle or object in front of you. Don’t wait until you’re within two meters of the vehicle or object before you decide to put on the brakes. Consider at least five meters’ worth of distance, and then gradually get your motorcycle to a halt.

Aside from preventing a collision with what’s in front of you, this also signals the vehicle behind you to apply their brakes early. This gives them more time to react to what you’re doing, thus greatly minimizing accidents.

Keep in mind that simply braking will not cut it. When applying the stops, do not purely rely on your front brakes to make the motorcycle stop. While this is okay when driving on a dry surface, it can blow up the wheels before you know it.

In this case, the best practice is to apply brakes for the front and back wheels. Using this approach can help you be more in control of the entire motorbike. 

Treat the back wheels as a backup in case the front wheels start skidding. After all, it’s easier to manage the former when the latter becomes a problem.

Constantly Move Your Body

The long hours and tedious conditions can place a toll on your muscles during a seemingly endless traffic, to say the least. With that said, make sure to prepare your body for the long bout ahead to avoid problems, such as cramping and body aches.

You don’t have to go all out and jog before a long drive. Simple stretches before you go can already have a great impact on how your muscles react when you need to suddenly brake, for instance.

If you’re already in the middle of traffic and you have nothing else better to do, do some quick stretches from time to time. If that’s not possible, at least perform repetitive movements for your arms and legs to keep the blood pumping along those regions.

Never Panic

As with most things that need your undivided attention, you should stay in a calm and collected state even if you think you’re having a hard time traversing the slippery roads. 

If you think you’re about to go on a road rage because of uncontrollable circumstances, take a deep breath (or ten) and try to let the stress melt away. This is mostly easier said than done, but at this point, you need to focus on things that you can control. Through this method, it will be easier for you to manage anxiety because you’re somehow doing something about it.

Another way to prevent (or even just manage) panic is to avoid alcohol or caffeine a few minutes before hitting the road. Getting enough sleep before a trip can also do wonders as it can help you stay more vigilant while driving.

If you still feel that everything is beyond your control and you’ll be in panic while driving, don’t use the motorcycle for the meantime. Either stay at home for now or commute. Your motorcycle can wait–the accidents won’t be as forgiving.

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