When the road is less crowded, riding at night exhilarates the senses, and can even be relaxing with the solitude of the bike. Riding a motorcycle at night, though, is completely different than riding during the daytime. A rider should take extra precautions and keep learning how to ride at night with consistent practice. Here are seven essentials to keep safe.
Wear a Helmet with Protective Eyewear and Face Shield
Night riding is hazardous enough, so it is best to wear a helmet to protect you against severe head injuries. Wearing a helmet while riding at night reduces the severity of an injury – the trauma to the head, the probability of death, and the overall cost of medical care. That’s why a helmet is designed to protect and cushion a rider’s head from the collision of a crash.
Upgrade your Lighting
Make sure all your lights are working properly and are in good condition. Other road users need to be able to see you, and you need to be able to see the road.
To increase night visibility, think about adding auxiliary headlamps, but make sure these headlamps are not as high-powered as the main headlamp. If they are too powerful, they may annoy the road user in front of you.
Wear Appropriate Gear and Right-sized Clothes
Regular biker clothing with reflectivity and fit for the current temperature is always the best solution. It is advisable that one should wear a biker’s jacket because it pulls off excellent protection from the cold elements of the night weather.
It is also essential to wear leather clothing, gloves, and nonskid soles boots to protect the body from severe injuries in case an accident happens. When a rider dresses in this type of leather clothing, he or she will no longer worry about getting wet especially during the rainy season.
Plan your Route Carefully
Always planning the route before leaving is the best bet. You need to have a mental picture and visual knowledge of what to expect on your way and where you are going. If you ride at night, it is advisable perhaps to ride an accessible and shorter route that you might during the day to keep road issues at a minimum.
If you are going somewhere unfamiliar to you, it is best to measure the distance and speed for the journey before taking off. It is also wise to have or prepare a road map before starting the ride and observe the riding speed and time you need to take to get to the destination.
Lower the Speed, Don’t Lose Control
Be responsible for your safety; abide by the traffic laws at night. Keep a safe distance when following other vehicles in fading light conditions. Remember that other drivers are having a difficult time seeing the road too.
No matter how good your eyesight is, highway speed at night is undoubtedly riskier than during daytime. The degree of the visibility of a driver’s vision reduces to a considerable extent. In such a case, drive defensively and give yourself enough room on the road.
Ride Defensively and Cautiously
It is wise to use caution when you are on the road because you don’t know what the other drivers, riders, and pedestrians will do. Be vigilant, defensive, pro-active, and stay focused. Keep yourself up-to-date with defensive riding techniques to avoid all the dangers that can befall a motorcycle rider in the daytime and the nighttime.
Keep a Watch on the Living Beings on the Road
Wildlife is difficult to spot for any road user and many times are out at night. Many pedestrians too don’t take care of wearing reflective clothing in the nighttime and are frequently distracted or walking drunk. Be observant of your surroundings and keep your eyes and head on the road to avoid accidents.
Riding at night can be intimidating, but a night-time ride is also unique when the road is peaceful. If you follow safety tips and stay vigilant, you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty of nighttime riding safely.
Greaibel Gomez is a part-time writer and contributor for Sun Pacific Law and cycling advocate currently living in Quebec, Canada. In his spare time, he shares his knowledge to people about the importance of safety measures and necessary precautions before going for a ride.