It’s true that there are fewer motorbike crashes at night, but this is likely due to there being less motorcyclists about. Despite there being fewer riders on the road at night, many accidents still happen, so proportionally it’s probably quite high.
We all require light to see and the darkness of night can seriously impair our ability to perceive and judge distance. The majority of the decisions you make when you’re riding are based on what you see. When you’re faced with nothing but darkness interspersed with headlights and road lights at night, your vision and decision making can be compromised.
This is why it’s important to take extra precautions when riding at night, and we wanted to go through some tips to help you stay safe.
Not seeing things properly
In most rural areas one of the biggest risks is not seeing something before it’s too late, when riding at night. Hitting things you can’t see is a common danger, because by the time you’ve picked it out with your headlights, you’re almost certainly about to hit it.
Unlit roads are even more dangerous, especially when they twist and turn. Meaning you’ll need to compromise on something in order to stay safe, and this usually means slowing down. This of course doesn’t really apply on motorways, as there won’t be a hairpin, and you’ll have plenty of space. Plus, it’s very unlikely that you’ll suddenly be faced with an object in the middle of the road on a motorway.
Winding country roads on the other hand will require you to slow down when visibility is low, because this is when accidents frequently occur. You need to avoid a situation where you’re suddenly travelling too fast, with little view, and just hoping what’s up ahead is clear. This isn’t a sensible thing to do.
Be wary of other lights
A lot of roads will be lit up by the headlights of other vehicles coming the opposite way. With so many headlights to acknowledge, if you’re not paying close attention, you may not realise that someone is on the wrong side of the road and heading straight for you until it’s too late.
It’s far more difficult for any drivers to judge the speed of a point of light, such as your headlight at night. This means that you need to increase the safety margin considerably. Doing this gives other drivers more of a chance to get things right. Travelling faster than other drivers expect in this situation is not a good idea.
Slow down at night
You may be wondering how much you should slow down when riding at night, and the answer is – more than you think. It’s essential that you leave enough space between you and whatever is in front, so that you can stop in the distance you can see.
Wear the right visibility gear
One of the biggest issues facing you at night as a motorcyclist is being seen yourself. Many accidents are caused by a driver not seeing you so it’s important to make yourself visible, especially at night. Additionally, if something happens to cause you to fall off, you’ll potentially be lying on the road and invisible to other drivers. In order to prevent yourself from being difficult to see in the dark, it’s a good idea to wear reflective biker gear.
You may hear about pedestrians getting hit at night because drivers couldn’t see them. Making sure you stand out in the dark will help to prevent this from happening to you.
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