Dangers of Riding Motorcycle at Night:- 6 Tips to Make Your Ride Safer

Is it safe to ride motorcycle at night
Is it safe to ride a motorcycle at night?

We love to ride motorcycles, no matter if it’s day or night. A motorcycle gives us a thrill and adventurous feel, and also, there are various health benefits to it. But, at the same time, we all know that the motorcycle requires a particular skill set to be driven properly without getting injured.

So, Is it safe to ride a motorcycle at night? Riding a motorcycle at night is not safe because of limited visibility, hidden obstacles, drunk drivers on the road. Thus, riding at night without proper skill in the presence of obstacles and drunk drivers can result in fatal accidents or injuries.

But also, we can’t sit at home just because there is a risk associated with riding a motorcycle at night. Although riding the motorcycle at night can be risky, it can be a thrilling experience if you know to ride at night confidently. Therefore, in this post, I will cover aspects of riding a motorcycle at night and safety measures to be taken care of. So, After reading this article, you will undoubtedly be aware of most of the mistakes you have to avoid. So, let’s start our conversation with the dangers associated while riding a motorcycle at night.

What are the dangers of riding a motorcycle at night?

There are numerous dangers of riding a motorcycle at night. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway (IIHS), fatal motorcycle accidents increase after 6’o’clock in the evening. Thus, during the night, some riders drink alcohol before riding, which puts them and others at the risk of getting into accidents. That’s the reason most accidents happen at night.

Here are the dangers of riding a motorcycle at night:-

  • Lower visibility during night
  • Lack of visibility by other drivers
  • Debris on the road
  • Drunk Drivers on the road
  • Lack of Sleep and Fatigue
  • The Glare of Oncoming headlights

Let’s discuss and understand all the listed above dangers briefly.

Lower visibility during the night

While riding the motorcycle at night, one of the major problems is your reduced visibility. You can’t see clearly at night compared to the daylight visibility; also, the headlight makes the road visible up to a limited distance. Thus, not being able to see reduces our chances to see the obstacle ahead, which is dangerous. Therefore, it becomes essential for you to ride a motorcycle in full awareness and within the range of your headlight so that you could be able to make instant decisions if any things come in your way suddenly. Furthermore, because of low visibility, you can’t judge corners and distinguish road hazards. Thus, it’s essential to make the road visible as much as possible to avoid any situation. For that, you must have clear your visor and make sure to have your visor replaced if there is any scratch on it, and of course, the headlight should always be on. 

Lack of visibility by other riders

As I have discussed above, the visibility reduces for you during the night. Thus, it’s the same for other drivers as well.

The visibility of other drivers also reduces so they may not be able to spot smaller vehicles like motorcycles, scooters easily unless something makes you noticeable to them.

You can be noticeable to other drivers by wearing high-visibility clothes and using reflective taps. Apart from this, you can use reflectors on the motorcycle helmet and jackets. It will help other drivers to notice you quickly as soon as the light falls on the reflective tape. You can also put some led light on the helmet; as the helmet is positioned higher, it is visible easily.

Potholes and Debris on the road

potholes on the highway
potholes on the highway

Debris can be another problem while riding at night. The reason for it becoming a problem is the nighttime, where we have already limited visibility. So, it is evident that if you don’t ride slowly, you can crash because of the debris on the road. The debris is found on the road because the vehicles or trailers are generally overloaded and not covered entirely. Large potholes on the road, road construction debris, etc., are also debris that can cause accidents at night. Debris is the reason for many crashes in the past.

The study conducted by AAA showed that between 2011 and 2014, 200,000 traffic accidents were caused by road debris, resulting in over 500 deaths and nearly 39,000 injuries. More than one-third of these deaths occurred when a driver swerved to avoid debris, causing them to lose control or hit another vehicle. So, make sure to be fully alert while riding a motorcycle at night to be safe from any potholes, debris, or any other element.

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Drunk Drivers on the road

Riding a motorcycle at night has its perks and its own set of hazards. Apart from the challenges of lower visibility, there is also the risk of drunk drivers. We all know that Drinking driving is responsible for a high proportion of traffic accidents. 

According to Pubmed,Alcoholrelated traffic fatalities continue to be the leading cause of death for young people. Alcohol is involved in almost 80% of the fatal crashes that occur between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. on any night of the week.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, most drunk driving accidents, 55%, occur between midnight and 3 a.m. Three out of four fatalities involving alcohol-impaired driving, midnight to 3 a.m., are also the most deadly. People drink, especially on weekends. So, after bar hours, these drunk people get on the road to drive. Therefore, you should be aware of these people as they may make mistakes on the road.

Lack of Sleep

Riding a motorcycle at night is not an easy task; it requires your total concentration and attention to drive safely and reach your destination without getting injured. That’s why it’s crucial to get better sleep before getting on the ride at night.

According to NSC, “A National Sleep Foundation poll says 60% of adults have driven while they were tired, and another 37%, or 103 million people, have fallen asleep at the wheel. Of those, 13% say they fall asleep while driving at least once a month, and 4% say they have caused a crash by falling asleep while driving. The reasons are many – shift work, lack of quality sleep, long work hours, sleep disorders – and it doesn’t only happen on lengthy trips.”

The very air of the night becomes cold, making you sleepy sometimes; thus, make sure to complete your sleep before getting out at night on the motorcycle. According to cdc.gov, if you are a teen, you should sleep 8-10 hours, while adults and higher age people should sleep for at least 8 hours.

The Glare of Oncoming headlights

Sudden Glare of the lights of other oncoming vehicles from either side can blind you for a bit of time which can be dangerous. Thus to be protected and not get confused, you should not look at the lights directly. 

It’s essential to not be distracted by these light Glare; thus, make sure to not look at the headlight directly; instead, look somewhere else like the opposite. Also, be aware to not lose sight of the road by looking away or down.

You can also buy anti-glare glasses that will allow you to see even if you look directly at the oncoming headlight. You can buy it here.

6 Tips to Make Your Motorcycle Ride Safer at Night

You should be extra cautious while riding a motorcycle at night at least 3-4 times more cautious compared to the daytime. Generally, motorcycles are harder to see even in the daytime, so it’s apparent that it becomes harder to spot motorcycles at night. Thus, while riding a motorcycle at night, you should ride slowly. I have listed the precaution measures or say tips that will make your night ride safer.

Precaution measure to make the motorcycle ride safer at night:-

  • Make yourself visible
  • Wear helmets with a clear visor
  • Take an Adequate rest
  • Maintain a safe distance with other vehicles (Especially Trucks)
  • Avoid Glare from oncoming vehicles
  • Maintain a safe speed and follow speed limits

Make yourself visible

The ability to see at night or low-light conditions is known as Night Vision. On the road not everyone is going to have the ability to see in low-light. Also, as people age they start to have difficulty seeing at night. So, To make your motorcycle riding safe at night you must make sure to be visible to other vehicles.

If you drive wearing black jackets, black pants, and black helmets at night then surely you will be hard to spot for drivers.To be visible, you should be wearing bright and reflective clothing. You can also use a brightly colored helmet.

It is the best option if you put led lights on the helmets as it is the easiest thing to spot at night from a distance. In addition, you can use reflective tape (brightly colored) on the helmets to let the drivers notice you quickly.

Wear helmets with a clear visor

As, we have talked the importance of having a night-vision to see things clearly at night. But, if your helmet visor is dirty and full of screthes etc then you will not be able to see clearly.

To see things clearly while riding at night, you must maintain a scratchless visor. Also, make sure to have it cleaned before getting out with it for better visibility. You can use a simple cleaning solution with a microfiber cloth or cotton cloth to prevent any scratches on the visor. 

Take an Adequate rest.

Sleep well in day time if you are planning for the night riding to prevent fatigue while riding.

According to NSC, “A National Sleep Foundation poll says 60% of adults have driven while they were tired, and another 37%, or 103 million people, have fallen asleep at the wheel. Of those, 13% say they fall asleep while driving at least once a month, and 4% say they have caused a crash by falling asleep while driving. The reasons are many – shift work, lack of quality sleep, long work hours, sleep disorders – and it doesn’t only happen on lengthy trips.”

Thus, to be safe while riding a motorcycle at night, you should be sleeping at least 8 hrs every day.

According to cdc.gov, if you are a teen, you should sleep 8-10 hours, while adults and higher age people should sleep for at least 8 hours.

Maintain a safe distance with other vehicles (Especially Trucks)

night riding on the road behind truck
night riding on the road behind a truck

This rule is not only for night riding; remember it as a safety precaution for your daily riding also to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles (especially bigger ones). You should be aware and ready enough to pull brake instantly as soon as any vehicle comes in your way. To be safe, you must maintain at least a 5-second distance so that you got enough time to take action for your safety.

By maintaining the distance from other vehicle, you are making sure to control the vehicle if any sudden things happens with the vehicles around you.

That’s the reason to maintain the distance from other vehicle or you should pass way these vehicle with your speed and ride freely. But maintaining a safe speed limit is also required, especially in night. Lets talk about it.

Maintain a safe speed limit

You should ride a motorcycle slowly, maintaining a speed limit at night. The reason is you may not be able to spot any sudden bumps, potholes, debris on the road. Apart from this, you will not be able to brake instantly if the front vehicle applied brake instantly or any animal came in your way. Therefore it is strongly advisable to drive slowly at night.

Suppose while riding a motorcycle at night there is a vehicle in front of you? Then what will you do?

In this case, you should slow down and maintain a safe speed limit and distance from the vehicle. You should be ready to brake at any time as soon as the front vehicle pulls his or her brake.

Apart from this, if there is enough space and an ahead sight on the road then you can go ahead overtaking the vehicle.

Do and Don’t do while riding a motorcycle at night. (Tips to ride a motorcycle at night)

We have already discussed most of the dangers and precautions above. Here are the important points from the above tips in nutshell.

Do’s while riding a motorcycle at night

  • Wear high-visibility clothes (Reflecting clothing)
  • Wear helmets with a clear visor
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before Ride
  • Drive slowly
  • Add reflective tapes to jackets and helmets
  • Be Alert

Don’t do it while riding a motorcycle at night

  • Avoid wearing dark clothes
  • Don’t ride fast
  • Don’t look directly at the lights of oncoming vehicles
  • Drinking alcohol

Conclusion

Riding a motorcycle at night surely is adventurous, thrilling at the same time dangerous. But, if we take care of simple things and follow the safety precaution mentioned above we can surely be able to avoid most of the dangers that come in our way. IF there is any tips or precaution you want to be added to this list then comment below or send me an email.

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