biker following tips for riding your motorcycle safely in heatWhether you’re enjoying a Midwestern summer cruise or traveling throughout the great Southwest, it’s important to take steps to avoid overheating while riding in extreme heat to stay safe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1,200 people die each year due to extreme heat. Heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion, can lead to severe symptoms, including loss of consciousness. 

As riders ourselves, the legal team at Hupy and Abraham understands why you don’t want to put your bike away for months at a time. So we explain how to prepare and offer tips on staying safe in the heat so you can enjoy your adventure without compromising your health or increasing the threat of a serious accident.

Risks of Riding in Hot Weather

While some bikes and helmets have cooling options, motorcyclists still face a lot of open-air challenges. 

  • Sun exposure while riding can lead to serious sunburn, compromising your body’s ability to cool down. Wearing protective gear and using sunscreen are essential to prevent sunburn and dehydration.
  • The effects of hot weather increase the rate at which your body loses fluids. Dehydration sets in quickly, impairing your concentration and reaction time while traveling. This condition is also the beginning of heat stress.
  • When riding your motorcycle in the heat, you can experience cramps caused by the loss of salt and water through sweating. According to WebMD, heat cramps are often brief and typically go away independently but can cause muscle spasms and stiffness, often in the abdomen, arms, and calves. These are symptoms you don’t want to experience on the road. 
  • If you’re sweating a lot, you might experience slick palms or a fogged-up helmet, which affect control and visibility. 
  • Heat exhaustion is your body’s second-stage response to excessive sweating, dehydration, and loss of salt. Signs include headache, dizziness, thirst, and decreased urine output. If untreated, it can progress to heatstroke.
  • Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition characterized by a temperature above 105° F. Symptoms include lack of sweating, hot skin, restlessness, slurred speech, vomiting, convulsions, and a weak pulse. Immediate medical attention is required for heatstroke.

5 Tips for Riding Safely in Hot Weather 

Being prepared is the simplest thing to do so you stay safe when riding in hot weather. The following tips for hot weather riding can help you prevent serious illness:

  1. Dress accordingly. When riding, wear lightweight, breathable, and protective motorcycle gear. Look for clothing with cooling technology and a helmet with proper ventilation.
  2. Stay hydrated. The CDC indicates that your hydration is already low when you feel thirsty, so always drink plenty of water before, during, and after your ride. More frequent sips are better than consuming a lot at once. Balance your electrolytes with regular meals along the route. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and high-sugar drinks, as they can further dehydrate you.  
  3. Take breaks to cool off. Schedule regular breaks to rest in the shade and cool down. Use these breaks to rehydrate and assess your physical condition. If you start feeling symptoms of heat stress, extend your break and find cooler conditions.
  4. Plan your route. Be prepared and chart your course before heading out. Make sure your route includes plenty of shaded areas and air-conditioned rest areas. If possible, avoid riding during the hottest parts of the day.
  5. Monitor the weather. Check the forecast and alter your plans if extreme heat is predicted. Riding in excessively high temperatures, especially while wearing protective gear, can be extremely dangerous.

Contact Our Skilled Midwest Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one were injured in a bike crash, contact our motorcycle accident law firm with offices in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. We offer a complimentary, no-obligation consultation to review your case. To schedule an appointment to have your case evaluated by one of our experienced Iowa, Illinois, or Wisconsin injury lawyers, please fill out our convenient contact form or call us at 800-800-5678.