Weather, Day, and Time: When Is Most Dangerous to Ride a Motorcycle?

Weather, Day, and Time: When Is Most Dangerous to Ride a Motorcycle?

If you’re planning a motorcycle outing, the timing of your trip can be an important factor in your safety. Here are a few things to consider before you set out.

Weather. Motorcycling is safest in fair weather, but if you must ride in the rain, take precautions. Wear proper gear, including a rain suit and a full visor. Your gloves should have a squeegee on the thumb to clear your visor when needed. If it hasn’t rained in a few days, be aware that the first few minutes of rain will create the slickest conditions, as those drops moisten oil that’s coating the road. After 15 to 20 minutes, the rain will wash that oil away, so you’ll actually get better traction. Avoid metal surfaces and painted areas of the street, which will be very slick. Slow down and give yourself more stopping distance. Follow along in the tire tracks of cars ahead of you, because those tires have displaced water, so you’ll have a better grip on the road.

It’s worth noting that fair weather has its downside. When it’s too hot, some bikers neglect to wear protective clothing. In the event of a crash, they can have a great deal of road rash. Hands without gloves and feet without boots can get shredded.

Day. According to the Insurance Information Institute, more motorcyclists were killed during the work week than on the weekend in 2015. But the slight difference is really meaningless when you consider the work week has five days and the weekend only two. The Insurance Information Institute also cites statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that show the deadliest day of the week for all traffic accidents is Saturday, followed by Friday and Sunday.

Time of day. According to 2015 NHTSA statistics, the deadliest times of day for motorcycle fatalities are:

  • Weekday 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. — 606 deaths
  • Weekend 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. —595 deaths
  • Weekday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. — 480 deaths
  • Weekend 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. —417 deaths
  • Weekend 9 p.m. to midnight — 411 deaths
  • Weekday 9 p.m. to midnight — 345 deaths
  • Weekend noon to 3 p.m. — 339 deaths

Regardless of the day, the deadliest times are from noon to 3 a.m.

It is worth noting that around 35 percent of motorcycle fatalities involve an illegally high level of alcohol consumption by the rider. This is certainly a factor in deadly crashes that occur late in the day and on weekends. Other factors include traffic congestion during the evening rush hour and impaired visibility during the evening commute. The morning commute is relatively safe for motorcyclists, perhaps because motorists are more alert at that time of day.

Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban wishes you a safe trip. But if you are hurt in a motorcycle accident in Virginia, North Carolina or South Carolina, you can trust us to fight for your rights. Call (888) 351-1038 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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