Since motorcycle riding in Wisconsin is very dangerous in winter, it is lucky that it is also rare in winter. But thawing fields yield beautiful flowers and warmer temperatures bring bikers back onto the roads of the Badger State. This annual event means that drivers have a new calculus when staying safe on the roads.

Bikers should do their part to preserve their own safety while they are out on a ride. One of the most important pieces of advice bikers can get is “be patient.” Taking one’s time when passing cars, turning or changing lanes could save a life if it prevents a collision or a flirtation with a driver’s blind spot.

Protective gear is also vital for safety on motorcycles. While the air is still cold, boots and gloves join jackets and pads as suggested equipment for bikers. Although Wisconsin and neighboring Minnesota do not require motorcycle helmets by law, they are mandatory for the chances of surviving a collision with a car or other object.

“We have to be very aware that the motorcycles are out. They have equal right to the road no different than any other motorized vehicle,” said an officer with the La Crosse Police Department. “Just be aware of them take your time and make sure we’re yielding to each other.”

If a rider is struck by a car or truck, and the accident causes serious injury, financial damages in civil court may be the only way to recover. An attorney can help victims and their families work out their option for filing a lawsuit or negotiating with other parties for compensation.