Are Motorbike Accidents More Likely in the Winter Months?

November 15, 2019

Changes in weather always have the potential to affect any type of road user. For instance, in December motorists will frequently need to de-ice and warm up their vehicles while in the summer months the main hazards can be sun glare – and enjoying too much of the hot air! Weather conditions can also affect road surfaces and visibility.

Motorcyclists have a range of different challenges when it comes to weather, which we will explore in this article.

The Effect Seasons Have on Motorbike Accidents

We already know that the road can be a dangerous place for motorcyclists regardless, but the change in seasons throughout the year can be a cause for greater concern. Motorcyclists have to adapt perhaps more significantly to these changes that other road users. The two most different seasons are that of summer and winter. Summer is typically lighter and warmer, while winter is colder and wetter. They are polar opposites and both present unique challenges for motorcyclists.

While it’s common to predict that winter is likely to see more accidents for motorcyclists, this isn’t actually the case. A report from the RoSPA (Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents) in 2017 identified most accidents as occurring in summer. This can likely be attributed to the fact that road usage among motorcyclists usually declines once autumn hits, perhaps due to the poorer weather and temperature conditions. In summer, however, motorcyclists are more likely to engage in road journeys when it’s hot and sunny. It’s also human nature that we are more aware in the colder months and take extra precautions.

So what type of dangerous situations may lead to an accident during summer? One of the most common reasons for a motorbike accident is due to the careless or reckless driving of another vehicle, or even possessing simple lack of awareness while driving. It is not a motorist’s intention to cause an accident, of course, but driving a vehicle on the road comes with huge responsibility. When a motorist is distracted and not fully concentrated on the road they become prone to making errors. In this situation, it may involve not seeing a motorcyclist when exiting a junction or overtaking. The summer months can lead people to feel more relaxed and carefree which in return can lead to careless actions. Summer can also be the time that damage from a bad winter can most come to fruition, such as potholes and defective surfaces, and traffic can be busier.

As for winter, the hazards here are evident. The first clear danger is the fact that days become darker much quicker. When November hits daylight begins to dip as soon as 4pm and this is when motorcyclists become even more difficult to spot. Then there’s the weather conditions itself. Winter is likely to see heavy rain and flooding in areas which can make driving extremely difficult, especially when combined with strong winds. With ice and snow likely at some point, there’s a high chance of skidding which can lead to disastrous consequences for a motorcyclist.

All in all, it doesn’t matter whether it’s summer or winter, while certain seasons cause more hazards, a chance of a motorbike accident is always possible. Contact us today if you would like to find out more about the steps to take if you’ve been affected by an accident and would like to pursue a motorbike accident claim.