What to Do When Your Motorcycle Slides
Slides Can Lead to a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle slides happen when the front or rear tire suddenly loses traction. The loss of traction may be due to a wet surface, a patch of ice, a melted tar snake, or any other things lying on the road that can make the wheel lose its grip. It can also happen when going around a turn too fast or grabbing the front brake in an emergency situation. Most slides are not dangerous and nothing serious happens apart from a jolt and minor scare. If you are injured in a slide, talk to reputable motorcycle accident lawyers to determine whether you are entitled to compensation for your damages.
There are two types of motorcycle slides: low-side and high-side. Low-side occurs when there is loss of traction, whereas high-side occurs when the loss of traction by the rear tire is immediately followed by the recovery of traction. It generally happens when the brake is applied too fast and with too much force. A high-side crash can cause more damage than a low-side crash.
So what should you do when your motorcycle slides? Here are a few options:
- Keep Riding as if Nothing Has Happened
In 90 percent of slides, your motorcycle will correct itself and find stability. In fact, taking action can worsen the slide. The immediate reaction of some riders is to close the throttle. But if you close the throttle too quickly, the rear tire can regain traction too quickly, which can result in a high-side. Counter-steering can also be counterproductive. If you counter-steer too much, the bike can over-correct. Braking will also not be productive. Applying the front brake can cause the rear wheel to lift up and applying the rear brake can lock the tire. In all four cases, both you and your bike may end up on the ground.
- Use Your Body to Counterbalance
You can do a wonderful job of counterbalancing the direction of the slide with the weight of your body in a slide situation. As soon as your motorcycle starts sliding, allow it to move freely under your body while holding yourself relatively still. This provides the counterbalance your bike needs to return to the right direction and correct itself. But it takes some practice to perfect this move.
- Accelerate or Decelerate Modestly
Some people recommend a modest deceleration to bring the motorcycle back into the right direction, but it can have the effect of transferring the weight to the front wheel, causing the rear wheel to lift up. If you close the throttle too quickly, you may find yourself biting dust on the road a few feet ahead of your fallen bike. Others recommend a modest acceleration, but doing this can transfer the weigh to the rear wheel, causing the front wheel to lift up. If you open the throttle too quickly, you may find yourself on your back on the road a few feet behind your fallen bike. Whatever you want to do, do it gently.
- Focus on Where You Want to Be
In a slide situation, the immediate reaction of most motorcycle riders is to look at whatever is ahead, such as a pothole or an oncoming car. You should instead focus on where you want to be. Your body will respond unconsciously to steer the bike to where you want to be.
Now here are some of things you mustn’t do in a slide situation:
- Do not panic. Panic makes you take irrational actions, such as jumping off your bike.
- Do not squeeze the brakes. You motorcycle will skid and you may become injured.
- Do not close the throttle too quickly. You may find yourself face down on the road.
- Do not open the throttle too quickly. You may find yourself on your back on the road.
Motorcycle riders are always vulnerable to injuries. If you are injured in a slide or a collision with a motor vehicle, consult our motorcycle accident lawyers to file a personal injury claim.
Our lawyers have decades of experience in providing excellent results in these areas of practice.