Riding a motorcycle requires a great amount of mental alertness and physical skill. Sometimes changes in your environment occur, which can affect your visibility. Physical changes may occur as well, which may affect your riding performance. Responsible riders know how to adjust or compensate for factors which affect rider performance.
9.1 – Cold Weather
In cold weather riding, protect yourself by wearing proper protective gear like a windproof jacket and insulated layers of clothing. It is wise to dress in layers so the layers can be removed as desired. Topping the protective gear with a windproof outer layer can prevent cold air from reaching the skin.
Cold weather significantly lengthens your reaction time. To compensate for the slower reaction time, reduce your speed and increase your following distance and space to the sides.
Riding for long periods in cold weather may lower your body temperature and cause hypothermia. Symptoms of hypothermia may include:
If chill is experienced, leave the roadway at your first opportunity and find shelter. Drink warm liquids, do some exercise to warm yourself, and if your clothes are wet, change out of them.
9.2 – Extreme Hot Weather
In extreme hot weather, wear protective gear that breathes. It is still important to wear a jacket and pants to protect you in a collision and to prevent dehydration. Drink plenty of water, stop and remove unnecessary, heavy clothing and dry your hands if they become slippery due to perspiration.
Riding at night presents additional risks because a rider’s ability to see and be seen by others is limited. You should adjust your riding behavior to compensate for limited visibility by:
9.4 – Distracted Riding
A distraction is anything that takes your attention away from riding. Rider distractions may occur anytime and anywhere. Distracted riding can cause collisions, resulting in injury, death or property damage. Taking your eyes off the road or hands off the motorcycle presents obvious riding risks. Mental activities that take your mind away from riding are just as dangerous. You must constantly maintain your full attention to the riding task. You are completely and solely responsible for operating your motorcycle in a safe manner.
Fatigue can affect your control of the motorcycle. To minimize the potential for fatigue:
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.