Staying Safe in the Cooler, Darker Months
9/23/2010 9:06:28 AM,
September is here and the fall months are upon us, not to mention winter is just around the corner. However, in Florida there is no rest for the cycle enthusiast, just because the bikinis and board shorts have been safely stowed away, doesn’t mean that our motorcycles have to be. The turning of the seasons though, means falling temperatures and earlier sunsets, the combination of which could be the perfect conditions for causing an accident.
As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported, most accidents, about half involving motorcycles involve a collision with an automobile. Due to the rate at which motorcycles can stop, among other factors, cyclists are most at risk from a rear-end collision. Cold weather and extended darkness can make the conditions for a rear end, or other collision even more favorable.
The cooler weather brings out the “winter” gear (granted you’re not riding in Alaska, but it can get chilly), so it is important to know what to wear to avoid a crash. Wearing black leathers or other dark clothing, paired with a dark colored bike and helmet at night can render a biker virtually invisible. This can be exacerbated in degrading conditions, e.g. fog or light rain. So, it is important to dress in something that is visible to other motorists on the road and keep safe at night. Here are a few tips for nighttime riding:
-Wear Bright Clothing- Look for lighter colors, those black leathers may as well be an invisibility cloak.
-Add Reflective Materials to Your Attire- Reflective materials are the best way for another motorist to spot you in the dark. Reflective decals are also a good option; consider adding them to your helmet or bike.
-Consider the Aiming Angle of Your Headlight- Make sure your headlight is at an angle that other motorist may easily notice your bike.
It is best to be properly trained on your bike. Consider training to make your travels as safe as they can be. Visit The Florida Rider Training Program for other safety information. Of course, if you find yourself as a party to a motorcycle accident, contact an attorney versed in motorcycle cases.