You, the stars, and your bike…
While night riding can be an enjoyable experience, it can also be extremely dangerous. Most motorcycle accidents happen when a passenger vehicle driver doesn’t see a motorcycle, and this risk may be even more significant at night.
Tips for Preventing Motorcycle Crashes After Dark
While you can’t prevent all nighttime motorcycle crashes, you can try to avoid a motorcycle crash by:
- Checking your lighting. Many motorcycles are under-lit, making them hard to see. Turn on your motorcycle and imagine that you are a tired or drunk driver. How well can you see your bike? Consider replacing your brake light and headlamp with brighter bulbs if your lights are dim. Check your manual first, so you don’t risk melting your wiring.
- Adding reflective tape or stickers to your bike and helmet. DOT regulations specify red reflectors for the rear of a vehicle, amber for the side, and white for the front. You can buy decals or tape that matches your motorcycle, so it is less conspicuous during the day.
- Wearing reflective clothing. Black leather looks good during the day, but opt for a jacket and helmet that reflect light at night. Reflective or florescent details can help you be seen. If you fall or are thrown off your bike, you want to be seen.
- Making sure your eye protection is clean and scratch-free. Carry a microfiber cloth to clean grime from your face shield.
- Riding near the center of the lane when possible. Drivers are less likely to see you if you are near the edge of the road.
- Avoiding tailgating. Give yourself plenty of space in case another driver doesn’t see you.
- Slowing down. Not only does slowing down give you more time to react to the unexpected, but you also want to be sure that you can stop in the distance illuminated by your headlights.
- Riding with the right brake light. Before riding at night, it is crucial to examine your brake light to make sure it is a proper size and angle for use in the dark. While many bike makers outfit their brake lights with small bulbs that point toward the street, brighter bulbs are inexpensive purchases that could help you avoid a rear-end crash at night.
- Activating your high-beam headlights. Even during the day, it is recommended to ride with your brights on, and at night it can mean the difference between an accident and a peaceful ride. You may also choose to add dual running headlights to your bike, as a single light can be more difficult to notice.
Additionally, you can get regular eye exams to ensure your night vision is safe enough to ride your bike at night.
Other Drivers Must Use Reasonable Care to Avoid Nighttime Motorcycle Crashes
You may have followed all of the tips described above and a negligent driver may still hurt you. The driver of a car, truck, or another motorcyclist may cause a serious motorcycle crash if the driver doesn’t see you in time to prevent an accident. For example, another driver may not see you if that driver is:
Any of these things can cause a driver to collide with you and cause you significant injury.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Crash at Night
There may not be many other motorists on the road or open businesses nearby at the time of your crash. However, you shouldn’t wait until morning to get help. Instead, you may:
- Call 911. The police and emergency first responders will be dispatched to the accident scene.
- Accept medical help. First responders can transport you to the hospital for an exam even in the middle of the night.
- Gather as much evidence as you can. Evidence may include photos from the crash scene and the names and contact information of anyone who saw the crash happen.
- Call a motorcycle accident lawyer. Hupy and Abraham is available to take your call any time of the day or night.
No matter when your accident happens, you deserve to be treated fairly. Our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers are also riders. We have successfully represented thousands of riders throughout Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois, and we are here to fight for your recovery of past and future medical costs, lost income, out-of-pocket expenses, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
Please contact us any time to schedule your free consultation by phone or video conference, in your home or hospital room, or at any of our conveniently located law offices throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa. Additionally, we invite you to download a free copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, to learn more about your rights.