Since it's officially fall, days will be shorter and you could find yourself riding without sunlight quickly. Night riding does have it's benefits though. The road can be less busy and filled with fewer distractions. However, it can also be more risky as there is less visibility. Here are some helpful tips on staying safe this fall.
- Your vision: Switch to a non-tinted visor or get a helmet with flip-down sunshades. As obvious as this one sounds, the darkness can creep up on you without warning. One moment the setting sun can be blinding you, and the next it could be twilight with street lights flickering on. Make sure you think ahead, and switch out your summer visor for a clear one to ensure maximum visibility.
Stand out: Reflective and fluorescent riding gear is your friend. Other drivers will be able to see you better if your clothing stands out against the dark streets. There are many options for bright and reflective clothing, but you can also add reflective tape to your jacket yourself.
Cleaning: Make sure your headlight, tail light, and turn signals are clean! After a summer full of riding, there is sure to be a lot of bugs caked on your lights. You'll be surprised how much of a difference it can make to remove debris from them.
The Road: A big disadvantage of night riding is not being able to clearly see the road in front of you, especially if it's an unfamiliar one. Keeping an eye on the reflective road lines makes a great way to predict your path. They don't just show you the twists and turns, but also what sort of lane positions you have available.
- High beams: When appropriate, use your high beams to ensure that you see obstacles before you reach them. In the fall, wildlife becomes more active at dusk. October is the start of mating season for deer. They become more adventurous and will be more likely to venture towards roads. In fact, your chances of hitting a deer double from October to December compared to the rest of the year.