Riding a motorcycle at night is a very different experience. Some riders love it, while others avoid it at all costs. Night riding usually means less traffic and more open space, but also comes with its own set of hazards. Always prepare for colder temperatures with warm clothes, and have a toolkit on hand so you’re not stuck on the side of a poorly lit road. Consider the following to avoid distracted drivers, hazards on the road and being blinded by the light.
Even with fewer vehicles on the road, riding after dark comes with its own set of risks. Drunk and impaired drivers are more likely to be out at night. That car coming up behind you might be the only one you see in your mirrors, but it’s important to ride just as cautiously as you would in the peak of rush hour. Keep in mind that oncoming traffic might not have the courtesy to turn their high beams off as they approach you. If you find yourself being blinded by a passing car, try to keep your eyes on the painted white lines along the right side of the road until the car passes. You’ll be able to keep track of your lane without losing your vision.
Day or night, it is your job to make sure other vehicles on the road see you. You should always practice defensive riding and avoid unsafe situations. At night this means putting a big emphasis on high-visibility gear. Invest in reflective gear and always check to make sure your lights are working before starting your ride.
From 2012 to 2016, 50% of fatal motorcycle crashes involved speed and lane departure. You should only be riding as fast as you can see. Less light on the road means less time to react to what would normally be an easily avoided pothole. While the speed limit might be 60 mph, it doesn’t mean you have to go that fast. Always scan the road ahead for animals or debris that may get in your way, and slow down.
It’s a Fine Line is an inclusive community of motorcycle riders advocating one common mission: zero motorcycle deaths by 2030. We want to share videos and stories about motorcycle events, rides, clubs, gear, safety and training because we believe that together we can save the lives of our friends, our families and our communities.