Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
Have you ever started a ride when it was cool outside only to find that 100 miles later it was blistering hot and temperatures were approaching the triple digits? Sometimes a motorcycle ride may start off in cool temperatures but end up hot, or it may start at comfortable temperatures but quickly turn freezing cold. It is very important that motorcyclists keep tabs on the weather, make sure they wear the appropriate gear for the climate conditions, drink plenty of water, and travel with the necessary gear to help protect themselves from heat exhaustion.
Sadly, many motorcyclists have suffered from heat exhaustion and heat stroke and have even caused an Atlanta motorcycle accident to occur due to these conditions. Before this usually takes place, the human body will try to protect its core organs from heat exhaustion by sweating, vasodilatation, reduction of blood pressure and an increase in heart rate.
- Vasodilatation. When the air is warmer than the skin’s temperature, the blood vessels enlarge to circulate more blood and cool down the core.
- Sweating. When sweat evaporates, it sucks heats from the skin and transfers it to the air. Because motorcyclists in hot conditions sweat a lot, they need to continually replenish their water supply. When sweat glands do not keep up with the evaporation or if the body does not have enough water, it may lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
- Heart Rate. When a person is feeling very hot, the heart pumps more blood and increases the heart rate.
- Blood Pressure. A person’s blood pressure can drop when the heart rate is increased. When this happens, blood flow is directed towards the skin and away from the muscles and brain, which can reduce a motorcyclist’s brain activity and muscle control—placing him at higher risk for a motorcycle crash in Georgia.
When these things occur to a motorcyclist, he or she may start having muscle cramps, headaches, and dizziness. Someone affected by the heat may even faint due to an increase in core temperature. While these symptoms would mean trouble for anyone with both feet on the ground, for a motorcyclist these developments are extremely dangerous and could cause an Atlanta motorcycle crash. If a motorcyclist starts cramping in the legs, he or she needs to take it seriously and pull off the road and get into some shade to cool down. If the rider doesn’t do that, the problem could get worse and turn to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.