Q: Can you get hypothermia from riding your motorcycle on a rainy day?
Yes, it is possible. While most people associate hypothermia with extreme cold, the outside temperature is not the only factor that contributes to this medical condition. By definition, hypothermia is an “abnormally low body temperature.” Your inner body temperature can become dangerously low even at relatively high temperatures.
Common Causes of Hypothermia
According to the Mayo Clinic, the following are all common causes of hypothermia:
- Wearing clothes that aren’t warm enough for weather conditions
- Staying out in the cold too long
- Unable to get out of wet clothes or move to a warm, dry location
- Accidental falls in water, as in a boating accident
- Inadequate heating in the home, especially for older people and infants
- Air conditioning that is too cold, especially for older people and infants
Water is one of the quickest ways to become susceptible to hypothermia, whether a person falls in a lake or is out in the rain too long. This is why a person who has been lost in the woods for several days can succumb to hypothermia even in 50-degree temperatures. When a person who is riding a motorcycle in wet and rainy conditions on the Beltway is inadequately dressed for the weather, he or she can become “chilled to the bone,” to use a colloquial term.
Hypothermia can be a dangerous condition. If you find yourself shivering uncontrollably while riding on a rainy day, you may be in danger of hypothermia. You should get inside and change into dry clothing as soon as possible. Riding while in a hypothermic state is dangerous because it can affect your coordination, reflexes, thought processes and energy levels. For more helpful tips on riding in inclement weather in Maryland, we invite you to check out our library and blog sections.