Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Risks of Riding Your Motorcycle At Night

Many motorcycle enthusiasts are attracted to Florida for various reasons, including the ability to ride year-round and our miles of open and scenic coastal highways. Additionally, motorcycles are usually significantly more fuel efficient than cars and other motor vehicles, making them extremely economical vehicles to own and ride. Unfortunately, motorcycles also expose riders to a significant risk of serious injury. Motorcycles offer their riders no protection in the event of a collision or an accident, meaning that the injuries that motorcyclists sustain in these events are often significantly more serious than individuals in other vehicles involved in similar events. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently published data1 that indicates that there were approximately 93,000 motorcyclists injured in accidents during 2012.

In many cases, individuals who are injured in motorcycle accidents are eligible to receive significant compensation for their injuries and other losses. An attorney can often help victims of motorcycle accidents obtain a significantly higher settlement or award than they would be able to obtain representing themselves, so victims should be certain to retain legal counsel prior to discussing any settlement offers or filing a lawsuit. 

Riding at night poses a variety of risks

Of the thousands of motorcycle accidents that happen in and around the Clearwater area each year, a significant number of them occur at night.  There are many various that riding at night can be more dangerous than riding during the day. Some of the more serious issues that arise during night riding are detailed below.

Motorcyclist visibility – After the sun goes down, there is obviously less light, even urban well-lit areas. This can have a significant impact on a motorcyclist’s ability to see other objects, road hazards, other vehicles, pedestrians, or anything else that may be in their path. Nighttime visibility may be further impacted in situations where there is adverse weather such as rain or fog, making for a particularly dangerous situation.

Motorist visibility – Other drivers’ visibility is also worse at night than it is during the day. Due to their smaller size and lesser surface area, motorcycles are already harder to drivers to see, even in ideal conditions. At night, motorcyclists can be particularly difficult for other motorists to see, potentially causing serious accidents.

Failure to account for riding experience and ability – Diminished visibility distance may result in a situation where a driver is surprised by sharp turns or other traffic that they would have been able to see earlier had they been riding during daylight hours. While more experienced riders may be able to easily deal with these kinds of surprises, those with less experience may become involved in serious accidents that may cause injury.

Driver fatigueDriver fatigue2 can affect all motorists and can be one of the most significant risks associated with riding a motorcycle at night. Driver fatigue has been shown to negatively affect a person’s reaction time, memory, judgment, and motor control, each of which is essential in the safe operating of a motorcycle.

Fortunately, there are often many ways that a motorcyclist can reduce their risk of being involved in a nighttime accident. Some of these include the following:
  • Avoiding night riding whenever possible, and only riding at night after they feel completely comfortable on their bike and only during clear weather conditions
  • Always wearing bright colored or retro-reflective clothing when riding at night
  • Never ride after consuming alcohol or drugs
  • Never ride when you are feeling particularly fatigued or sleepy
  • Always ensure that all your motorcycle’s lights and signals are functional and carry replacement bulbs in your vehicle’s cargo compartment
By following these steps, motorcyclists can ensure that they minimize their risk of being involved in a nighttime accident. Unfortunately, accidents are bound to occur, sometimes with devastating results. In many cases, an experienced attorney can help individuals who are injured in Clearwater motorcycle accidents that occur at night recover for their injuries through a personal injury lawsuit.

Contact a Clearwater motorcycle accident attorney today to schedule a free consultation

The attorneys of the Dolman Law Group are dedicated to helping people injured in preventable accidents find justice and peace of mind through the Florida court system. To schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers, call our office today at (727) 451-6900.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 451-6900