If you are brave enough to ride your motorcycle during the Wisconsin winter, you know you need to take extra care. Motorcycling can be a high-risk activity at any time of year.
With winter comes additional dangers, particularly when it comes to poor visibility to other drivers.
Drivers often struggle to see motorcyclists
Research shows that drivers can be blind to motorcyclists due to a phenomenon known as inattentional blindness. Car drivers’ brains expect to see other cars, not two-wheeled vehicles. Winter can exacerbate this.
Winter brings fewer hours of daylight. You are more likely to ride in the dark than during other times of the year. As you are on a smaller vehicle and typically only have one light at the front and one at the rear, you become even less visible to other motorists. Cloudy days can reduce contrast, making you stand out less from the traffic around you. Drivers may struggle to see through steamed up windscreens or a veil of falling rain or snow. Ice or snow can lead to longer braking distances.
How can you improve visibility in winter on a motorcycle?
You cannot account for the inattentional blindness or lack of care of other road users. All you can do is try and make yourself easier to spot and harder to miss. Consider a bright-colored helmet and items of reflective clothing. Check your lights are working, and think about upgrading to a brighter unit. Above all, take extra care where you position yourself on the road. Try to avoid blending in with the cars around you.
While you can claim compensation if a driver injures you, it is best to do all you can to prevent it in the first place.