One of the most amazing things about owning a motorcycle in Sarasota is being able to go for a ride during a beautiful Gulf sunset. Unfortunately, this can also be one of the most dangerous times to take your bike for a spin, so we wanted to share three simple tips for staying safe on a sunset ride.
Consider Your Visibility Disadvantage, and Stay Slow
Even in the best conditions, motorcycles have a very small profile compared to a car or truck, which makes them (as well as their riders) tough to spot. Factor in a nasty sun glare, and suddenly you realize that you are nearly invisible to other cars.
Not only are you hard to see, but your own visibility is compromised, as well. When the sun is low on the horizon, visibility is impacted just as much as a heavy rain, dust, or snow storm. Just as you would in these conditions, adjust your speed a few notches slower to account for your decrease in visibility.
Keep Your Visor Clean and Clear
Whether you have a windscreen on your bike, a full visor on your helmet, or rely on sunglasses or goggles to keep your eyes protected, keeping that surface clean is paramount to safe sunset driving. Not only will dirt and other debris impact your vision, but any surface scratches can render you as good as blind. If your lenses, screen, or visor are old and scuffed, replace them—your vision is your first defense on the road.
Not only will a clean screen help keep you safe, but it will also help you better appreciate that sunset!
Stick to the Edge
This is important at any time of day, but whenever you come to a stop in traffic, pull to the outside of the lane rather than stopping in the center. Not only does this help the driver behind you see you more clearly, as you will not blend into the back of the car in front of you, but should the car behind you rear-end you, you will not be caught between the two vehicles.
Remember—you are already much smaller and harder to see on your motorcycle, and low sun will only make you less visible.
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