Three Tips for Safe Night Motorcycle Riding in Iowa

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Posted by Pressley Henningsen

A motorcycle ride at night can be exhilarating.  But there are dangers that every motorcyclist needs to be aware of.  Here are three tips to stay safe while riding your motorcycle at night in Iowa:

1. Make Sure Your Motorcycle Headlight is Working

Obviously headlights are incredibly important for riders when it’s dark.  Having a working headlight not only means that it works, but also that it’s adjusted properly to illuminate the most road in front of you and uncover any potential hidden dangers.  Read your owner’s manual to find out the best way to adjust your bike light.

A good rule of thumb is to “never outride your headlight.”  That means you should be able to stop in the distance that your headlight beam covers.  If you cannot, then you’re “outriding” your headlight and need to slow down.

2. Watch for Wildlife during Nighttime Riding

Animals crossing roads at night present a hazard for motorcycle riders.  Deer are a common occurrence along Iowa’s roads and are difficult to spot  until it’s too late.  Small animals like raccoons or skunks can cause you to swerve and lose control of your bike — even roadkill can be dangerous.

We recommend that you ride on well-lit roads as much as you can.  If you know you’re riding in an area where animals often cross the road or that is unlit, slow down.  Watch for reflections of animal eyes from your headlights and keep your hands on your brakes to reduce your reaction time.

3. Minimize Your Risk of Being Hit by a Drunk Driver

The risk of being hit by a drunk driver increases dramatically at nighttime.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015, fatal crashes that involved an alcohol-impaired driver were 3.5 times higher at night than during the day.

There are a few things you can do to lower your risk of being hit by a drunk driver while riding at night:

  • Keep a safe distance between yourself and any other vehicles.
  • Be careful at intersections, especially four-way stops. Many drunk drivers are unlikely to see a stop sign and may blow through the intersection without stopping.
  • Wear brightly colored and reflective clothing and a motorcycle helmet so you’re more easily seen.
  • Flash your brakes at any stop sign or stop light by turning on and off your brakes repeatedly. This will help make you more visible.

If you’ve been in a wreck, you need an attorney experienced in motorcycle accidents to help you.  RSH Legal’s knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyers have been helping injured riders get justice for years.  Call us today at 1-319-774-1783.

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