How Weather Conditions Impact Motorcycle Accidents

As a motorcyclist in Washington, it is critical to understand how different weather conditions can impact your ride. Checking the weather and knowing what to expect from different conditions can help you stay safe and potentially avoid a motorcycle accident in Washington state.

Rain and Thunderstorms

Precipitation from rain or a storm can lead to wet and slippery roads that result in a loss of traction on your motorcycle. A motorcycle’s tires do not perform on a wet road as they normally do on a dry surface. Wet roads will require you to adjust your speed and stopping distances as a motorcycle rider.

Controlling your speed can help you maintain control of your bike on wet or slippery surfaces and come to a stop in time to prevent a collision. Riding at a safe speed can prevent your motorcycle from slipping out, laying down or hydroplaning – especially around curves. It can also keep you safer in reduced visibility conditions.

Ice or Snow

Riding a motorcycle in Washington in wintertime can come with significant dangers related to snow and ice. In icy conditions or a snowstorm, it is best not to ride a motorcycle at all, as visibility will be limited and your tires may not be able to gain traction on a slippery surface.

Riding in cold temperatures can also affect you physically, making it more difficult to control the motorcycle. Cold weather can reduce dexterity and reaction times. For these reasons, it is recommended that motorcyclists stay off the road in winter unless it is absolutely necessary to ride.


Fog can interfere with your visibility as a motorcycle rider in Washington. It can reduce your sightline to a fraction of what it normally is in non-foggy conditions. This can make it more difficult to detect potential hazards and stay in your lane. Fog will also reduce your visibility to other motorists, increasing the odds of an accident.


Strong winds can cause a motorcycle accident by destabilizing the vehicle. A strong gust of wind could cause your motorcycle to suddenly lean, requiring greater physical strength to right the bike and maintain a firm grip. Wind can also push your motorcycle around on the road, making it harder to ride in a straight line. If caught off guard by a sudden gust of wind, you may not be able to recover in time to remain upright.


Even sunshine could present a hazard to motorcyclists in the wrong circumstances. Bright sunlight can be blinding or create reflections off of other vehicles that impede your vision. The drivers around you may also struggle to see your motorcycle due to a glare. High temperatures or extreme heat can lead to slick pavement that reduces tire traction, as well as physical effects such as dehydration and fatigue.

Safe Riding Tips for Motorcyclists in All Weather

Before you ride your motorcycle in Washington, carefully check the weather for signs of dangerous conditions. Prepare your motorcycle correctly based on the expected environment. In bad weather or low visibility, decrease your speed and increase your following distance from other vehicles. Wear the right gear, such as water, wind and heat-resistant clothing. Your gear should also be high visibility to help other drivers see you.

If you get injured in a motorcycle accident due to poor weather conditions, you may have the right to file a claim against one or more parties, such as the government for failing to ensure safe roads or a driver for driving carelessly in bad weather. Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer at NW Injury Law Center for a free case evaluation to learn more.

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