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The average person is most certainly not heavy enough to stand up to a 100 mph wind. Even buildings crumble in winds of high speeds. 100 mph is a pretty high speed, so if an object were to hit you going that fast, you would likely be in serious condition or pass away upon impact in this type of motorcycle accident.
This raises an interesting question. Considering air moves all around people as they ride their motorcycles, how can a rider handle going 100 mph? Should such high winds pull the person off the motorcycle completely?
Here’s a streamlined answer to measure that question and learn the best answer.
Remove the motorcycle from the equation for a moment. In any real-life situation, what does it look like when higher winds than normal blow around your average person? For this and any related questions, look no further than weather reporters bringing you coverage from near hurricane-force winds.
Not only do they take preventative measures by wearing what appears to be heavy clothing, but they are also standing in a position that isn’t super close to the hurricane in most cases.
Even so, they can be seen hanging on for dear life as they give their accounts to audiences.
Essentially, high winds and their incredible levels of force are more than enough to push someone far away. The person may even be lifted from the ground if the wind is strong enough.
Here’s a great place to start. Will a strong wind have trouble pushing over a parked motorcycle? After all, this isn’t a light item made from plastic.
Technically, there isn’t a one size fits all rule that indicates how bikes will respond to the wind blowing at them. Still, there are specific situations that help you to realize the strength of the wind.
The average motorcycle weighs about 400 pounds. Assuming the air moves at a speed of about 50 – 60 miles per hour, it will certainly blow the unit over.
Some may think rain and snow would be the worst elements where doing damage to your motorcycle is concerned. Many motorcyclists also believe you wouldn’t be alone if you believed it. However, you may want to give the wind some credit there.
Motorcycles may be heavy, but you’re not dealing with a car. As indicated before, the bike could potentially be blown over by a strong wind. The cosmetic damages to motorcycles here are bad enough.
Unless it’s very strong, the wind isn’t going to roll your motorcycle over. Nevertheless, the amount of damage done often depends on how long it takes riders to realize that their motorcycles have been tipped over.
The thing is, you don’t want a bike to rest on its side on the ground for too long. When this happens, the engine can begin to act up from the oil seeping into the combustion chamber.
Of course, random items such as a ball, tree branch, trampoline, etc., can be sent careening into your motorcycle the more the wind spirals out of control.
There’s no telling what will happen when powerful winds begin to blow a motorcycle. Still, preventative measures can be taken to minimize the likelihood of the combination with gravity taking the vehicle to the ground.
Keeping the unit inside would make a noticeable difference. However, not all cyclists can do so. What motorcycles do tend to have, on average, is a kickstand. Not only will you be putting it down, but you will also need to lean the bike in the direction of the wind, pushing it against its kickstand.
When you ride a motorcycle, a force called drag is responsible for the biker’s ability to ride up to and beyond the point of a 100 mph wind. As bikers speed down a standard road or highway, for example, air moves around the head, shoulders, etc.
The body produces this force, which is why you don’t fly off your motorcycle. Technically speaking, you could experience drag in cars with the windows down.
The cross-sectional area of bodies, including heads and shoulders, indicates how much drag is produced on the riding participant. Body shape is also an essential factor in the amount of drag produced.
When you’re riding a motorcycle, less drag is always what you’re going for. A greater cross-sectional area will create turbulence and cause a rider to be catapulted. If you’ve seen a motorcyclist hunker down and bring the knees in, doing so will decrease drag in difficult headwinds.
However, a human can’t become completely flat or disappear. There’s a limit to how small you can make yourself on the motorcycle. Thankfully, the shape of the unit reduces the force as it is built with aerodynamics in mind to be safely ridden while remaining stable.
If your motorcycle has a windshield, this is even better as it helps to deflect air and further reduce drag. The visor on your helmet provides a somewhat similar function.
Riding a motorcycle can be fun, but it comes with a high risk, especially considering that a rider has a fraction of the protection a car driver does.
In addition, if you ride a motorcycle where strong air is in motion, you need to consider a few things before working yourself into the role of a motorcycle crash victim.
First, you need to be cautious. If you’ve ever seen a person ride a motorcycle during strong winds, they still appear to be blown around a little bit. This is even after they look like a semi-ball with the knees tucked. Reducing cross-sectional area is a great start, but it doesn’t windproof bikes facing the wind or side-blown.
Ensure you’re riding slowly. A 100 mph wind blowing at you is no joke. You need to be able to respond to changes and even be prepared to pull over if necessary.
Strong winds could hurl any object at you. Riders are always encouraged to be on the lookout. Even a plastic object could lead to disaster as it barrels toward you. After all, not creating turbulence doesn’t mean you’re completely safe.
Note, however, that if you can avoid riding bikes during such strong air movement, wait it out or ask someone to get you in a more secure vehicle. Riding around at high wind speeds isn’t worth any motorcyclist’s life.
Technically, yes. Weather reporters are typically standing in these strong, windy conditions. Reducing their cross-sectional area needs to be a priority. Standing in a lowered position with their heads down should help.
It may feel a bit awkward, and it may even look weird on TV since the person would appear somewhat flat. However, that’s a small price to pay to reduce cross-sectional area and avoid being toppled over or worse.
Should a person ride a motorcycle, 100 mph winds are not the only concern. Motorcyclists also run the risk of accidents. If you find yourself in this position and you are hurt. Try to maintain as much composure as possible and follow the steps below.
Even if you think you are fairing well, you never know what’s happening inside. Get medical attention immediately.
Gather evidence from the accident scene in terms of pictures, contact details, etc.
Ensure an officer takes a statement from you. This is invaluable for insurance claims.
Await legal counsel before doing this. You are within your right to deny speaking without your lawyer
If you’re a cyclist who has been hurt in an accident, reach out to Ehline Law Firm today for a free consultation at (213) 596-9642.
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.