Owning and riding motorcycles combine travel and hobby for an experience that riders can enjoy for years to come. Riding motorcycles is an opportunity to make memories but that can’t be done safely without riders and passengers understanding and practicing motorcycle safety tips. It’s important for riders of all ages and levels of experience to routinely brush up on motorcycle safety to ensure a safe ride each and every time, especially at night. Whether it is a routine commute or a vacation, late night motorcycle riding can quickly turn from harmless to hazardous due to a variety of risk factors enhanced by late night driving hours.
The Dangers of Late Night Motorcycle Riding
Although it sounds intuitive, the main threat to late night motorcycle riding is the lack of rider visibility. While riders may think this goes without saying, others, unfortunately, remain in the dark. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), fatal motorcycle accidents increase after six o’clock in the evening when light visibility begins to decrease and riders encounter heavier traffic due to rush hour. Without adequate lighting along roads and highways, riders are at risk of being involved in a serious accident that could turn fatal. It’s always important – both during the day and at night – for riders to remain clearly visible to all vehicles with which they share the road.
Late night riding also involves the risks that come during the peak hours for drunk driving accidents. Drunk drivers pose a danger to everyone on the roads, but especially to motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians who lack physical protection from reckless drivers. Low visibility coupled with the impact driving intoxicated has on the senses leaves drunk drivers at an even greater risk of failing to see a motorcyclist and/or being unable to properly react in time to avoid a serious – if not fatal – accident.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
While late night riding can certainly be dangerous, it does not mean bikers should avoid or fear nighttime riding. Riders can enjoy late night motorcycle riding just as much as daytime trips when practicing the following motorcycle safety tips:
- Wear Reflective and Light-Colored Clothing: Because visibility is the greatest danger for riders, it’s crucial to avoid wearing dark and non-reflective clothing at night. This is often easier said than done considering most riding gear is dark. Riders should invest in reflective gear that they can easily transition to wearing when riding at night. This can include a reflective safety vest, reflective helmets, and pants. If possible, motorcyclists should also opt to wear bright and lighter colored clothing. Riders can also add nighttime accessories to their motorcycles, such as lights and additional reflectors.
- Use Personal Protective Gear: Motorcycle riders should always wear a helmet and personal protective gear when riding, whether day or night. Protective gear includes helmets, eyewear, riding boots, long coverings for legs and arms, as well as gloves. This gear adds an extra layer of protection between a motorcycle rider and the pavement should an accident occur. Protective gear can also be easily modified with reflective materials for additional visibility during nighttime.
- Stay Alert, Ride Sober: Sadly, motorcyclists cannot count on other drivers to remain focused on the road or stay sober when driving late at night. Riders must account for motor vehicle driver error, as other types of motor vehicles on the road disproportionately outnumber them. Late night riding often means sharing the road with drunk drivers. Motorcyclists must exercise extra caution and remain on high alert for distracted and drunk drivers when riding at night. Additionally, just as passenger vehicle drivers shouldn’t get behind the wheel while intoxicated, neither should bikers. Riding while intoxicated increases the likelihood of a fatal accident for everyone on the road.
- Ride Together: While it is not always an option, there is safety in riding in numbers. If possible, riders are encouraged to travel with other motorcyclists also practicing proper nighttime motorcycle safety – such as wearing reflective clothing, driving sober, and staying alert. By following proper group riding techniques, riders increase their visibility to other drivers in low visibility settings.
Lubbock Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Riding motorcycles should be an enjoyable experience; and, through practicing motorcycle safety, riders can reduce issues that could cause or contribute to a serious collision or other car crash. Sadly, motorcyclists can be as cautious as possible, but the negligence of another driver can inflict life-altering injuries and death. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, contact the Lubbock motorcycle accident attorneys of Liggett Law Group, P.C. today for a free and confidential consultation. There is limited time to act following an accident in Texas, so don’t delay.