Ask any motorcyclist, and they’ll tell you – riding your bike at night is an entirely different experience than riding during the day. Those who prefer riding at night enjoy cooler temperatures, less traffic on the roads, starry skies, and the cityscape lighting their way. The same draw to nighttime riders can also be dangerous, though, if you are not prepared for the riding conditions. Cooler temperatures affect your tire pressure, and a starry sky means less visibility for both motorcycle riders and other vehicle drivers on the road.
Riding your motorcycle at night is a thrilling experience and can be safe if you’re more cautious than daytime riding. Follow these tips to prepare for the best and most reliable way to ride your motorcycle at night.
Look Out for Nighttime Hazards on the Road
Riding your motorcycle after sundown means you’re riding with less visibility. We recommend wearing bright colors and reflective gear to enhance your visibility on the road to other motorists. Additionally, riding at night usually means you’re sharing the road with people who are out of work and potentially frequently the bars. Even when traffic is light, you must be vigilant for intoxicated or drunk drivers. The best way to spot them is by paying close attention to anyone speeding excessively or swerving in and out of lanes. Drunk drivers can also be aggressive drivers, so look out for anyone who tailgates or honks their horn. You could also encounter drowsy drivers. Drowsiness affects drivers in ways that are similar to alcohol. Defensive driving is the key here.
Nocturnal animals come alive at night and may cross roads in their search for food. Motorcyclists on city and country roads alike deal with raccoons, deer, opossums, and squirrels that can suddenly jump out in front of your bike when you least expect them. With limited light, they’re harder to spot, so be sure that you’re aware of your surroundings. Pay extra attention to roads near fields and woods, and keep your speed down. If an animal jumps out in front of your bike, you want to be sure you have enough time to avoid the animal without injuring yourself.
Reduced Visibility for Hazardous Road Conditions
Limited visibility at night also makes potholes more challenging to see. Drivers in a car, van, or truck don’t need to be quite as concerned about these hazards since they have the stability of four wheels; however, motorcyclists can be seriously injured when hitting a pothole. Pay attention to car lights bouncing up and down on the roads to get a better idea of where these hazards may be hiding.
Use a Clear Visor for Nighttime Riding
For those extra-long motorcycle rides, especially in the winter months, you’re likely to be on the road from sunup to sundown. If you know you have a long trip ahead of you, be sure to pack an alternate visor to replace your daytime tinted one attached to your helmet. Tinted visors provide a great shield to the sunlight’s glare during the day. During the night, however, that same tint may reduce your outward visibility. Be sure to pack a clear visor, or an adaptive visor, when you know your ride will extend into the night.
Use Better Bulbs for Improved Visibility
All motorcycles come with an operating headlight, but not every bulb is suited for nighttime riding. If you’re going to be on the roads frequently at night, upgrade your lights to an LED headlamp or HID lighting kit. These are made specifically for lower visibility riding and helps other drivers see you. If buying specialty bulbs isn’t something you can do now, then be sure the headlight you have is always clean and free of dirt and dust. A dusty film over your headlight can lower visibility by 25%, so be mindful of this before setting off for the night. If you’re riding along country roads, make use of your high beams on dimly lit roads or roads without any lighting at all. Yet, be sure to adjust to low beams when there’s oncoming traffic to avoid blinding the other driver.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in St. Pete after a Crash
Attorney Frank P. Marsalisi of Marsalisi Law understands the positive impacts that motorcycle riding can have on your life. There’s nothing more exciting than the freedom of riding on the open road, just you and your machine. However, Frank P. Marsalisi also understands how a motorcycle injury can drastically change your life. As a devoted injury attorney advocating for motorcycle accident victims, he’s stood by hundreds of people injured in a motorcycle crash through some of their most trying times.
For more than a decade, Frank P. Marsalisi’s personalized representation has received substantial results for his clients. As a member of the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association, you can trust his approach and rest assured in knowing your case will be handled with the utmost of care.
At Marsalisi Law, we aim to help you obtain the compensation you deserve so you can focus on healing from your injuries. If you’ve suffered a motorcycle injury, contact our firm for a free consultation at (727) 800-5052 or complete a contact form anytime. We’re available 24/7 to support and answer your questions through this difficult time. Marsalisi Law is Where Law Gets Personal.