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Tips for riding a motorcycle in low visibility conditions

With all of the wildfires raging in California, some motorcyclists might opt not to get out and ride for now. The ones who do should ensure that they are prepared for the safety hazards that come along with riding. In some cases, there is a foggy cover that they'll have to contend with.

Driving in foggy conditions means that the other drivers might not be able to see you on your motorcycle. Still, they should be watching closely for motorcyclists because this is an important part of driving. You can take steps to increase your visibility, but the onus is still on every driver to remain alert and drive safely.

Increase your visibility

Whether you're dealing with regular fog or smokey conditions from the wildfires, you should turn on your motorcycle's lights. The taillight can shine through the cover and let the drivers know where you are. The front light can alert oncoming traffic that they're coming up on a vehicle. Remember that you should only use the regular head beams in fog because high beams will reflect off the droplets and decrease visibility. You can also wear a reflective vest or place reflective tape on your helmet.

Take your time

Don't rush to your destination when visibility is low. Instead, take your time so that you can ensure you're riding safely. Slow down gradually. This can prevent you from being rear-ended due to stopping suddenly. If possible, try not to change lanes or pass other vehicles in these conditions.

Try to avoid having to stop within the travel lanes when you're in conditions that have diminished visibility. If you do have to stop, turn on your emergency flashes to make it easier for other drivers to see you. Pulling over to the side of the road is imperative if your motorcycle has mechanical issues and you're unable to continue your ride.

Crashes can still occur

Even if you are following all the proper safety guidelines during your ride, you're still at the mercy of other drivers. This can mean that you're struck by a vehicle because the driver was being negligent. In that case, you may opt to pursue a claim for compensation that can reduce the financial impact that the incident has on your life. This can include claims for things like lost wages, personal care expenses and medical bills that are related to the crash.

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