If you love to ride a motorcycle, you probably hate the winter months. After all, riding in cold weather can be both uncomfortable and dangerous. Still, if you do not choose to park your bike until the temperatures climb again, you must realize that motorcycle accidents are not exactly rare in the winter. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that wintertime motorcycle accidents have increased by about 300% in the last 20 years. This makes sense, as modern motorcycle features make year-round riding possible. Nevertheless, to stay safe during cold weather, you must understand why motorcycle accidents tend to happen. Here are three reasons:

1. Distracted driving

Unfortunately, distracted driving continues to be a problem in Illinois. Every time a driver takes his or her eyes off the road, you are at risk of sustaining a serious injury in a collision. Of course, winter driving conditions may add additional distractions that put your life in increased danger.

2. Damaged roads

Hitting a pothole in a car, truck or SUV can be annoying. That is, if the hole is deep enough, you may have to replace your rim or tire. Encountering road damage on a motorcycle is often significantly more hazardous. Furthermore, if you slow down or maneuver around a hole in the roadway, a negligent motorist may collide with your bike.

3. Slippery surfaces

Keeping control of your motorcycle on slippery surfaces requires top-level riding skill. Nonetheless, motorists may not be as careful as you are. If a driver accelerates too fast for wet weather conditions, he or she may cause an accident that involves your bike. Alternatively, a driver may not have enough traction to stop before hitting you. Either way, slippery roads may be hazardous to your health. 

No one has to tell you to stay off your bike during a blizzard. Still, there are plenty of days during the winter when riding your bike is perfectly appropriate. To increase your odds of reaching your destination safely, though, you must think about why motorcycle accidents tend to occur before hitting the road.