Warm weather means it’s time to take the covers off the bikes, change the oil, charge the battery, and hit the road. Summer is the ideal season for motorcyclists in Pflugerville to get out and ride.
Experienced motorcyclists know that hot weather brings special safety concerns that everyone should be aware of. Let’s learn more about how to motorcycle safely in the summer and how a Pflugerville motorcycle accident lawyer can help in the event of an accident.
How Heat Affects Motorcyclists
Riding in hot weather affects both the driver and the motorcycle in different ways, posing special safety risks. Motorcyclists are more affected by high outdoor temperatures because protective gear and clothing prevent the body from naturally dissipating heat, and the motorcycle itself is an additional source of heat.
The surface of most roads also collects and radiates heat, making the air above asphalt several degrees warmer than the ambient air temperature, and motorcyclists are more exposed to road heat than car drivers. Some of the ways that heat affects motorcyclists include:
- The body’s heat dissipates less effectively when motorcycling in hot weather. The natural evaporation of sweat from the skin allows the body to cool itself. When riding a motorcycle, the speed of the air actually reduces this cooling effect because sweat evaporates too quickly to cool the skin as effectively.
- A motorcyclist dehydrates more rapidly in hot conditions. The increased effects of heat and reduced efficiency of sweating cause motorcyclists to feel the effects of dehydration more quickly than drivers of other types of vehicles. Because sweat evaporates so quickly, motorcyclists may not even notice that they are sweating heavily and approaching dehydration.
For these reasons, motorcyclists are at a greater risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke, even over shorter distances, which can lead to dangerous driving. If you are experiencing heat exhaustion or are in any type of motorcycle accident, it is important to seek medical attention right away.
Tips to Remember when Riding During the Summer
In order to stay safe when motorcycling in Pflugerville, follow these safety tips:
- Monitor the weather forecast. Motorcycling becomes riskier in temperatures over 93°F, and the actual riding conditions will be several degrees hotter than the ambient weather. If the forecast is for high temperatures, prepare accordingly.
- Wear the appropriate motorcycle safety gear. While it may be tempting to wear lighter clothing in hot weather, covering your skin not only prevents sunburn and provides additional protection in the event of an accident, but it can actually help keep you cooler. Protecting your skin from the wind slows the rate of moisture evaporation, allowing your body to cool more efficiently and keep you safer. Always wear riding gloves to maintain control of a motorcycle when you have sweaty hands. Consider choosing a ventilated helmet that protects your head while allowing airflow, and wear a bandana or headband to keep sweat out of your eyes.
- Remain hydrated. Carry more water than you think you will need, and consider hydrating with a sports drink with added electrolytes. Although fatigue is a common early sign of heat stress, do not use caffeinated beverages like energy drinks to stay alert: caffeine is a diuretic that actually accelerates dehydration.
- Rest and recover. Take frequent rest breaks, especially in the hottest times of the day. Finding a shady spot to rest is good for you and for your bike.
- Monitor your motorcycle. Riding in hot weather is taxing for you and for your motorcycle. Pay special attention to fluid levels and heat-sensitive bike parts made of plastic or rubber. Pay attention to tire pressure, and consider protecting the exterior of your motorcycle with wax or polish.
- Keep an eye on the road. In extreme heat, asphalt roads can soften, and tar seams can become soft and slippery. Fresh asphalt is more heat-sensitive and can pose a road hazard for motorcycles.
The best way to protect yourself when motorcycling in extreme heat is to ride in the cooler times of the day, like in the morning and evening, and rest and take it easy during the hottest time of the day.
How Does Pastrana and García Injury Law Help Motorcyclists?
Unfortunately, even when motorcyclists are driving safely, they are at increased risk of injury and property damage during an accident. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident, getting expert legal advice from a Pflugerville motorcycle lawyer is more affordable than you think.
Pastrana & García Injury Law has more than 30 years of experience fighting for the rights of accident victims, and you don’t pay unless we win your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.