Birds eye view of motorcyclists at night

Riding a motorcycle, no doubt, comes with inherent risks. Riding a motorcycle at night could be even more dangerous because there are a number of hazards that are unique to nighttime riding. Even experienced motorcyclists could find nighttime riding more challenging. It is important that motorcyclists are well aware of the dangers they face when they ride at night and how they can deal with these challenges.

Why is Nighttime Riding Dangerous?

damaged bike after motorcycle accident

There are a number of factors that make nighttime motorcycle riding more hazardous:

Impaired drivers: As it is, motorists can have a difficult time spotting motorcyclists on the roadway – even in broad daylight. After dark, drivers may have trouble with visibility. This challenge could get even worse when a driver is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to accidents caused by intoxicated or impaired drivers because they do not have much protection when a collision occurred. When an impaired driver strikes a motorcyclist, the consequences can be catastrophic or even fatal.

Visibility Issues:  According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), nighttime riding, between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. Some drivers may experience difficulty seeing when it is dark outside. This often causes major injury or fatal motorcycle accidents because even a small mistake on the part of the motorist can result in serious consequences for motorcyclists. Visibility issues may also stem from poor lighting on roadways or weather conditions at night such as rain, fog or snow.

Roadway defects: The road itself could become a hazard for motorcyclists at night. For example, motorcyclists may not be able to see debris on the roadway, potholes, loose gravel or black ice in time to avoid a crash. It is often difficult to spot these dangers in the dark of the night.

How Can You Ride Safely at Night?

handlebars of an older motorcycle

Here are just some of the ways in which you can enhance your safety while riding at night:

Staying visible: It is important that motorcyclists wear clothing that is visible at night. Studies have found that motorcyclists are 37% less likely to be involved in a motorcycle accident when they wear fluorescent clothing, which makes them more visible. It is also a good idea to make sure your motorcycle gear has retro-reflective panels that will glow when hit with lights from your headlights. Reflective tape and decals on motorcycles could also help enhance visibility.

The right visor: Riding with a dark, tinted visor at night is not recommended because it hampers your visibility. But you could use variations such as a yellow-tinted visor during low-light hours, such as during dusk. You could also opt for photochromic visors that adjust to light levels throughout the day. In addition, you could carry an extra pair of glasses that you can wear during the nighttime as you ride open visor. One thing to keep in mind with your visor is that it needs to be clean. You should use a simple cleaning solution with a cotton or microfiber cloth to prevent micro-scratches on your visor that could cloud the visor and hamper your vision.

Temperature changes: When you ride after dark, be prepared for temperature changes. For example, fog could cause condensation and add a layer of moisture to your windshield, visor or rear-view mirrors, hindering your vision. You may be able to overcome this issue by adding a coat of anti-fogging solution to each surface. If you live in a region where the temperature fluctuates, you may want to be prepared with appropriate clothing. Cooler roads also provide less traction for your tires. Be mindful of your speed, especially as you approach corners.

Safe riding: It is always best to ride defensively, which means always thinking of what you can do to stay safe if another driver doesn’t see you or recognize you are there. Always be alert and stay out of blind spots. Use your turn signals, especially at nighttime when they can grab the attention of another motorist via the flashing lights. Increase your driving distance, especially when you cannot see clearly in front of your motorcycle.

If You Have Been Injured

Two clients talking to a personal injury lawyer with regards to a motorcycle crash

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Rhode Island during nighttime driving as a result of another’s negligence or wrongdoing, or as the result of dangerous roadway conditions, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. Motorcycle accidents have the potential to result in catastrophic injuries or even death.

The experienced Providence Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at d’Oliveira & Associates can help you secure maximum compensation for your losses and help protect your rights every step of the way. Call us at 1-(508) 625-9765 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation. You may also fill out an online contact form and one of our knowledgeable staff will be happy to assist you.