Night riding has its own allure. However, it can also be dangerous.

Low visibility plays a major role in accidents at night. Darkness makes it difficult for motorists to see motorcyclists and hence reduces their response time. Another common cause of accidents and fatalities at night is other vehicles changing lanes without looking and signaling. Accidents may also occur at intersections where rear end collisions cause a lot of damage.

Night time riding therefore requires extra vigilance both on the part of riders and motorists. The following is a list of helpful tips you should take if you ride - particularly after sundown.

Bright Clothing - Typically, motorcyclists prefer wearing dark colored leather jackets when they ride. However, for night time riding, it is advisable to wear something that reflects light. A helpful tip here would be to add reflectors to your jacket, pants and helmet.

Lights on the Bike - Lighting is a critical safety measure that should not be ignored. For the sake of ‘aesthetics’, some manufacturers use undersized brake lights while others compromise on the angle of the beams. Make sure the brightness and angle of both these lights are in accordance with the local traffic laws.


Headlight Aiming Angle Regulations

Headlight Aiming Angle Regulations – Find out what the local law says about the acceptable beam angle. You can check this angle by raising the beam to the maximum angle allowed. Cast the beam over a plain wall and measure it from the ground to the exact center of the beam.

Dual Headlights - Additional headlights, if aimed properly, can help you become more visible.

Reflective Tape - Reflective decals and tape can be added to your bike to make it more visible.

Well-lit Roads - Try to avoid roads or pathways that are not properly lit. Stick to city limits where there is plenty of street light cover. Refrain from narrow country roads with little or no visibility.

Wear Clear Goggles - Buy a pair of clear goggles to avoid bugs, insects or twigs, flying into your eyes.

Constant Vigilance - Stay vigilant and be prepared for any unexpected obstacles, hurdles, bumps, potholes, and any other obstructions on the road. Also remain fully aware of the other vehicles on the road.


Slow Down - Your Keys to Riding Safely at Night

Slow Down - As a rule of thumb, the less experienced you are in night riding, the slower you should go. If it is really dark and your headlights are not helping you see what’s on the road, dismount and walk your bike to a well lit place.

Other Concerns - Keep in mind your level of expertise, the conditions of the road, the kind of traffic you will experience and the type of bike you’re on. Make sure you are mindful of these to avoid any unpleasant incidents.

Riding at night can be a very soothing and refreshing experience. But it can take a wrong turn if you don’t take the necessary precautionary measures. By keeping these helpful tips in mind, you too can enjoy your ride when the sun goes down.

Got any more tips on night time riding? Share them in your comments