Riding At Night: "High Visibility" Tips for Safety
Most new motorcycle’s lighting systems don’t come with an on/off switch.
The lights are always on when the motorcycle is running, and that’s no accident.
Here’s why: Lights increase the chances of keeping the rider and bike visible to other people on the road.
While lighting is a proven way to increase visibility, there are some other ways as well.
High Visibility Gear for Maximum Visibility
It’s also no secret that most motorcycle riders prefer black gear, but there are ways to continue wearing dark riding colors while maintaining high-visibility.
High Visibility Motorcycle Gloves and Gear
Why wear hi viz gear? So the next driver who is on their cell phone not paying attention when they take a left turn can't say they didn't hear/see you!
Let's ASSUME we are invisible to drivers, and work from that assumption.
Many jackets incorporate reflective strips and accents that reflect lights back at others on the road, which helps to keep a rider visible.
Note: Make sure your jacket has reflective material sewn into the back and front
High-visibility motorcycle gloves are great for night riding or when daytime weather conditions turn dark, with the addition of reflective materials on the backs of hands.
Note: There are many gloves with reflective strips to choose from, including black and combinations of blue, red, black, grey, and what we like to call "Hi-Viz" green
Reflective stickers can be added to helmets and fenders
- Add a 4" reflective band across the back of your shoulders and up the lower half on the back of riding pants for nightime riding, to enhance the reflectivity of your clothing.
Military Installations and Hi-Viz Gear
Also, keep in mind that specific high-visibility motorcycle gear is a strict requirement on all military installations. A certain percentage of riding gear must be Hi-Viz.
The reason for the requirements is because it saves lives. The military knows that high viz is important when you need to be seen to stay alive.
If you’re planning to visit a military installation on your bike, make sure to check the requirements before showing up -- otherwise you won’t be allowed to ride on base.
Other Nighttime Riding Tips
Besides the standard lights on your motorcycle, and high viz gear, a few more safety “musts” to be more visible and ride safer at night.
Always check your lights (tail, turn, and head lights) before riding (which will also keep you from getting a ticket)
- Keep an extra helmet visor in your gear kit (light tint or clear to replace the dark tint for evening rides)
- A Bright White helmet will stand out in urban traffic almost a block away and on the open road 1-1½ miles away ... day to sunset; At night, it still helps, but your really need relective tape and gear on the other elements mentioned above.
Well, that’s our list.
How do you keep safer while riding at night?
Leave a comment -- let us know what else you’d add to this list.