Wind Hazard for Motorcyclists in the San Francisco Bay Area
Windy conditions on the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area may play a greater role in motorcycle accidents than previously assumed. Sudden gusts of wind can cause other vehicles to enter your lane suddenly, leading to a catastrophic motorcycle accident. When this occurs, it is important to know that you are not alone; a San Francisco motorcycle lawyer will be on your side, so you can focus on your recovery.
Tips for riding in windy conditions
Veteran bikers, including many San Francisco motorcycle lawyers, remind motorcyclists to be especially vigilant when riding in gusty weather. Simply being aware of the dangers around you can help prevent devastating San Francisco motorcycle accidents from occurring.
Yet even if you do not routinely bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, you may still encounter windy conditions in a number of places.
Wind gusts and turbulence—wind gusts may be expected anywhere, but especially along the coast line and Pacific Coast Highway 1.The best general safety advice is to maintain safe spacing between your motorcycle and all other vehicles, especially when following or passing. Even large cars and trucks can be caught off guard by a sudden gust of wind and veer into your lane.
Crosswinds on bridges and overpasses—crosswinds on bridges and overpasses present a serious risk to motorcycles, especially on the Golden Gate Bridge and other Bay Area bridges. The danger arises when a gust coming from an unexpected angle (crosswind) impacts the biker and causes the motorcycle to travel in a line not intended by the rider, sometimes a serious motorcycle accident. Long-time San Francisco bikers recommend gripping the motorcycle with the knees and keeping the arms flexible. This reduces fatigue in the arms, and, most importantly, it allows the bike to self-correct in case of a sudden crosswind gust.
Vehicle turbulence and “truck wakes”—just as dangerous is the heavy turbulence created around trucks and other large vehicles moving at high speeds. The vacuum effect of a fast-moving tractor-trailer passing near a motorcycle can literally “suck” a motorcycle off-course, possibly causing an accident.
Speed and choice of lane—the effect of wind and turbulence are reduced at lower speeds. In fact, buffeting and vibration are often felt when riding under windy conditions at speeds of 50 miles per hour or greater; therefore, riding at a slower speed and using the right lane is recommended.
Riding position and windshield—windshields and fairings provide additional protection and comfort when riding a motorcycle under windy conditions. They provide protection from airflow, yet they also change the handling of the motorcycle. Helmet style can also help reduce wind noise and vibration.
A San Francisco Motorcycle Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one has been affected by a motorcycle accident here in San Francisco and throughout Northern California, it is important to contact a San Francisco motorcycle lawyer for help. Our veteran San Francisco motorcycle attorneys can explain all of your legal options, and work to ensure that your family receives the appropriate financial compensation and long-term help they need. Call the San Francisco motorcycle attorney at 1-800-4-BIKERS today to schedule your consultation.
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