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The Big (Wind) Chill: The Real Danger of Winter Riding

For many motorcyclists, winter means the end of motorcycle riding. They hang up their helmets, drain the gas tank, and put the motorcycle away till spring. But according to the Green Bay motorcycle attorneys at Hupy and Abraham, motorcycle riding in cold weather is possible—even in Wisconsin. With proper precautions, Wisconsin motorcyclists can ride year round.

Cold temperatures are just as dangerous as ice and snow!

First of all, the average winter temperature in Wisconsin ranges from 20 to -3 degrees. When you are riding, you also experience wind chill. The wind on your bike causes moisture to evaporate from your body and that takes away your heat. The faster you go, the greater the wind chill.

Outdoor temperature: 40°F
With wind chill at 30 mph: 28°F
With wind chill at 55 mph: 25°F

Outdoor temperature: 20°F
With wind chill at 30 mph: 1°F
With wind chill at 55 mph: -3°F

Outdoor temperature: 5°F
With wind chill at 30 mph: -33°F
With wind chill at 55 mph: -39°F

When you are riding, you stay relatively still. Your body isn’t generating heat. If you aren’t dressed for the cold, your hands and feet will become numb. Your reaction times will slow and riding can become painful. You can easily suffer hypothermia, especially if you have a pre-existing condition like diabetes or underactive thyroid. And, you have a high risk of injury in a Wisconsin motorcycle crash.

Use common sense. If you have an existing medical condition, talk to your doctor about cold-weather riding. If you decide to ride when the temperature is low, you will need to cover all exposed skin and dress for warmth. Keep rides short when the temperature is very low.

Wear layers of clothing and a waterproof outer layer to keep you dry. Make sure that your head is covered and wear insulated boots and gloves. If you do a lot of winter riding, you may consider investing in heated clothing that runs off your motorcycle battery. Keep a few hand-warmers in your saddlebags or first aid kit for extra warming.

Know the signs of hypothermia. If you feel uncoordinated or find yourself making mistakes, stop immediately and warm up.

If you are in an accident, our Green Bay motorcycle accident lawyers are here to help. Request a free copy of The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims or contact us at 800-800-5678 to schedule a free consultation.