Motorcycle Driver’s Handbook

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Slippery surfaces

Slippery surfaces can pose hazards to driving. Be cautious of:

  • wet pavement, particularly just after it starts to rain and before oil washes to the
    side of the road
  • leaves, sand and gravel on hard surfaces such as pavement, especially in spring before the sand has been cleaned from the streets
  • mud, snow and ice
  • worn, polished pavement, particularly when wet

There are a number of things you must do to operate safely on slippery surfaces:

Reduce speed

It takes longer to stop on slippery surfaces. You must make up for this by going slower, especially in curves. Remember, speed limits posted on curves apply to ideal surface conditions.

Avoid sudden moves

Any sudden change in speed or direction can cause a skid on slippery surfaces. Therefore, you should turn, brake, accelerate and change gears as little and as smoothly as possible.

Use both brakes

The front brake is still more effective than the rear brake, even on slippery surfaces.

Avoid the worst slippery areas

Try to find the best area of pavement and use it.

Oil from other vehicles tends to build up in the centre of the lane, particularly near intersections where vehicles slow down or stop. On wet pavement, therefore, it is better to operate in the track created by the wheels of moving vehicles. However, you should avoid driving through standing water.

Old, worn pavement is often polished smooth. When it is wet, it is very slippery. You can see these extra-slippery sections if you look for the shiny areas on the road.

Dirt and gravel tend to collect along the sides of the pavement. It is important to stay away from the edge of the road when you make sharp turns at intersections or enter and leave freeways.

Use extreme caution if you are riding in early spring before the street sweepers have removed the winter accumulation of sand.

Certain sections of the road dry out faster after a rain or snowfall. Try at all times to stay in the best part of the lane.


Rev: 2015