The thrill of riding on relatively empty roads into the night is beyond comparison. Imagine chasing the wind on your bike, as the moonlight (and street lights) illuminate your way, or taking a long drive on traffic-free, silent freeways. Neither pros nor amateurs can deny the solace that comes with driving at night.
Whether you drive at night for leisure or do it out of necessity, remember that traffic rules don’t go to sleep! Keep in mind the following things to enjoy the solitude of driving at night, safely:
Night time driving brings in its own set of hazards. And drunk driving is one of them.. Drunk drivers pose a threat to everyone on the road, and this is more severe during weekends. So be cautious while driving at night and watch out for vehicles that have a disruptive driving pattern. If a car is speeding too much or going too slow, or can’t seem to stick to a lane, stay alert and maintain a safe distance.
It’s easy to spot oncoming potholes or bumps in daylight. However, due to low visibility at night, that might become a bit difficult. While you do have streetlights at regular intervals, coming across a surprise obstacle is unavoidable at times. So, if you’re unsure of the road’s surface, slow down and take stock. This way, you can avoid unnecessary damage to your vehicle and get across hurdles safely.
On highways and open roads, it is possible to encounter a stray dog or a wild animal suddenly cross the road, taking you by surprise. Or sometimes, you may find a cud-munching cow sitting nonchalantly right in the middle of the road! Due to low visibility, you may find it difficult to brake without causing an accident. So go at a steady pace when crossing an area with open lands on both sides of the road. This way, if you need to stop abruptly, you can do so with minimal effort and safely.
A clean and clear helmet visor could be of great help in improving your visibility at night. Don’t use one with a tint as that is more suitable for the daytime. Make sure the visor is free from any significant scratches, smudges, etc. for better vision. A microfiber cloth can prove handy as you can clean it as and when required.
Making yourself more visible to others can also be a safety tactic. Opt for clothes that can be easily spotted by other drivers in low light. Wear a neon yellow or orange industrial safety vest with reflective panels readily available in the market.
To mark your presence on the road, opt for reflective tape for the rims and decals for your bike’s tank and head cowl. This will not only add style to your bike but will also make your motorcycle more visible to fellow drivers on the road.
Examine the condition of your tyres. Check for the tread wear, and inspect the sidewall for cuts or bruises. This tyre check is crucial because in case you face a puncture during night riding, it will be a challenge to find a repairman.
In case of an emergency, find 24x7 repair shops online using search terms such as “tyre shop near me” or “tyre puncture shop near me”  before your next ride. And during this inspection, if you find any major issue with your tyre, please replace it. Buying a tyre is relatively easy these days, thanks to the rapid evolution of e-commerce. In recent years, online tyre sales have witnessed a massive rise, and the demand continues to surge.
So, remember these tips the next time you go night riding. And remember, even without the moonlight to guide you, you’ve got this!