The clock strikes 5 p.m. and it is the end of the work day. You wrap up your work and head out the door to begin your commute home. Unfortunately, the afternoon commute—coupled with the shorter daylight hours of winter—means you will be driving home in the dark. While an early sunset occurs several months out of the year, this time of the day is also one of the most dangerous times for motorcyclists to be on the road.
Although you might not be able to avoid driving at night, it is important that motorcyclists understand the dangers of nighttime driving. Because motorcycles are smaller and more difficult for drivers of cars and trucks to see, riders need to realize that driving in the dark will put them in greater danger because other drivers will have an even harder time spotting them.
According to GEICO insurance company, traffic fatalities are three times more likely to occur at night. For this reason, it is important that motorcyclists do the following things to help increase their safety and reduce the risk of motorcycle accidents in the dark, including:
- Be visible
- Reduce speeds
- Increase following distance
- Keep helmet visors clean
- Check to make sure lights are working properly
- Have a technician inspect the headlight cover if it appears cloudy or light is dim
- Use turn signals when switching lanes or turning
While motorcyclists face risks anytime they are on the road, they (as well as other motorists) need to realize crash risks increase for motorcyclists at night. For this reason, drivers of passenger cars also need to keep a safe following distance, obey road rules, and make sure their windshields and mirrors are clean.
Because motorcycles are very small and easy to miss seeing in mirrors, drivers of cars need to turn their heads and look over their shoulders at their blind spots before they change lanes. This is one of the most important things drivers can do to minimize the chance of causing motorcyclists to crash and suffer serious injuries…or even fatalities.
Please share this information with your friends and family on Facebook to make the roads a safer place and keep motorcyclists safe on Sarasota roads.