Driving After Dark: How to Stay Safe on Your Motorcycle at Night

Motorcycle insurance is needed when you’re a rider; what else is going to keep you safe if something happens to you when you’re riding at night? In 2016, 5,286 people died in motorcycle crashes, up 5.1 percent from the previous year, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Motorcyclists are that much more likely to run into an issue while on the road at night, which is why it’s important to make sure that you are insured. On top of that, there are certain precautionary safety measures that can be instilled while operating a motorcycle. It’s all about being aware of your surroundings. This is how to stay safe on your motorcycle at night.

What to Look Out For When Night Riding

When your view is limited, you have to drive that much more cautiously. Here’s several things to look out for when going for a night ride:

  • Drunk drivers. Drunk drivers play a huge risk when driving period, so those on motorcycles are that much more in danger. In 2016, almost half of all fatal motorcycle accidents (47 percent) involving alcohol and riding motorcycles happened between the hours of 9pm to 3am.
  • Hidden obstacles. Sometimes, there are things out on the road. It’s best to avoid them if you can. Things are less visible at night, including potholes, loose gravel, manholes and other obstacles that can be put in the path of a rider. Colliding with any of these things can be disastrous for the rider and the bike.
  • Animals. Animals freeze under pressure when they see headlights. Don’t hit them! Many preys and scavenger animals come out at night because they are simply nocturnal. Luckily most animals’ eyes emit a glow, so you’ll often see them before coming into contact with them, giving everyone time to move accordingly.
  • Limited visibility.The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) database found that night time riding (during the hours of 9pm and 3am) accounted for 27 percent of motorcycle fatalities. When looking at the bigger picture, lack of visibility is a pretty decent guess as a cause of these accidents.

How to Stay Safe

Ways that you can make your night ride a little safer are:

  • Wearing high visibility gear, reflective tape and decals, and lighting options on your bike are just some of the things that can make you seen at night.
  • Riding with tinted glasses/visors, cleaning your visor, and riding within a vehicles light. You can use outer lights to illuminate things in the road.
  • Making yourself heard. The louder your exhaust is, the better, but don’t rely on it.
  • Preparing for the elements. Know what to do when there’s fog (use anti-fogging solution so you can see), be aware of how temperature variations can impact your ride (always prep for the cold at night) and know about loss of traction.
  • Having a motorcycle insurance policy that will ensure you’re covered in the event that an accident does occur.

About David G. Sayles Insurance Services

At David G. Sayles Insurance Services, we strive to protect the investments of people like you. Our comprehensive policies are customized for you to provide the exact coverage you need. For more information, contact us today at (800) 439-0292.