The numbers don’t lie: motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in a crash than people in passenger vehicles, and riders have an 80% chance of suffering an injury or dying in accidents. The best way for riders to reduce their risks is to wear full riding gear. That means a full-face helmet, thick riding jacket, pants, gloves, and boots.
And while wearing all of that equipment isn’t a major issue in the fall, winter, and even in spring, it can be hot in the summer. That makes riders hesitant to wear the recommended safety gear when they head out, and it’s not uncommon to see riders wearing only a helmet with a t-shirt, shorts, and even open-toe shoes from June to September. But exposed skin can lead to serious road rash, and even nerve damage, in a crash.
Hot Weather Doesn’t Have to Mean an Unsafe Ride
Thankfully, you don’t have to swelter to stay safe while riding your motorcycle. The following tips can help you reduce your injury risks while staying comfortable on your next motorcycle ride.
Wear hot-weather gear.
Motorcycle gear manufacturers know their customers and their market very well—including the struggles of wearing full gear in the summer. That’s why today’s riders have more choices than ever for staying cool on even the hottest days of the year.
Mesh riding gear is more breathable than leather, denim, or nylon, and it also offers excellent protection in the event of a crash. You can purchase individual mesh pieces, including jackets and pants, or even entire bodysuits for full-body protection.
Some full-face helmets are also vented, which can increase airflow to your face and neck. You can also purchase an evaporative cooling vest, which you can wear underneath your jacket to provided additional cooling.
Cover all exposed skin.
Having parts of your body exposed and free of clothing or gear can help you temporarily feel cooler on hot days, but it can result in a serious sunburn and feeling even hotter if you’re riding for a long time. Ensure that every part of your body is covered with lightweight and breathable materials, and if parts of your skin remain exposed, be sure to use plenty of sunscreen on those areas.
Stay hydrated with cold water.
Loading up an insulated thermos with plenty of ice water and taking frequent breaks to drink from it can keep you hydrated and lower your body temperature. You can also wear a hydration backpack, which makes it easy to stay continuously hydrated during your ride without needing to stop—even while wearing a full-face helmet.
Avoid extremely hot days.
Riding when temperatures are in the high 80s or even low 90s can be uncomfortable, but it’s typically not dangerous provided you take precautions, stay hydrated, and don’t have pre-existing health conditions. But when temperatures creep into the high 90s or even 100s, stay at home if possible.
Ride early in the morning or in the evening.
When it comes to avoiding the hottest part of the day, there’s a balance to be struck for maximum safety and comfort. Ride before temperatures start to soar, but only once there’s enough light for drivers to see you. And in the evenings, set out just as temperatures begin to cool and give yourself enough time to reach your destination before the sun sets.
Choose tree-lined routes.
The difference in temperature between a jam-packed, fully exposed interstate and a tree-lined rural road can be significant, especially in the summer. When choosing your route, consider taking the long way, especially if it means traveling through a more tree-lined area. The shade provided by the trees and fewer vehicles nearby can mean a more comfortable ride.
Tow your motorcycle if necessary.
If you’re planning on traveling a long distance, you don’t have to ride to get there. Instead, consider towing your motorcycle using a trailer. This can be especially important when traveling through some of the hottest parts of the U.S. or during heatwaves.
Summer Isn’t Just Hot for Riders—It’s Also Dangerous.
If you’re riding your motorcycle this summer, staying cool AND protected is your biggest priority. But it’s important to remember that you face many risks even when you’re wearing full protective gear. That’s because there are countless distracted and otherwise negligent drivers on Oklahoma’s roads, especially in the summer.
When those drivers injured innocent riders, we’re ready to jump into action. We know that riders are often victims twice—once during their accidents, and again when insurance companies deem them liable for crashes that weren’t their fault.
At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, it’s our goal to ensure riders are treated fairly and have the best possible chance of getting maximum compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how our Oklahoma City motorcycle accident lawyers can help you.