A Sergeant assigned to Fort Hood, Texas died in a PMV-2 mishap 13 August 2022 in Killeen, Texas, at 0030 local. The Soldier was traveling north when he lost control while negotiating a turn. He was ejected into the inside lane of northbound traffic and struck by a pick-up truck. The pick-up truck failed to stop and render aid. The Soldier was pronounced dead at the scene. He was wearing the required personnel protective equipment and had completed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation training. It is currently unknown if speed, alcohol, or drugs were a contributing factor. The Killeen Police Department is conducting the investigation.
Since 2017, the Army has lost an average of 25 Soldiers a year to off-duty PMV-2 mishaps. This mishap was the 23rd off-duty PMV-2 fatality of FY22.
When it comes to motorcycle riding at night and its safety challenges, different people have different opinions. Some think that driving at night is safe since there are fewer road users and traffic congestion. However, there are still others who view that night riding should be completely avoided due to the associated risks.
No matter the opinion, there are some challenges associated with motorcycle riding at night.Low visibility
This is the most critical challenge facing motorcycle riding and other road users at night. With low visibility, it becomes very difficult to maintain focus and speed. As a result, many road accidents occur at night.
This could either be that the rider can’t see other objects clearly, or other road users do not see him. However, this can be an easy fix by using motorcycle glasses for night riding that enhance low light visibility.Obstacles
Obstacles on the road can pose a great safety risk to riders at night. It could be in the form of debris, roadblocks, potholes, manholes, loose gravel, and others. In addition, due to darkness, the obstacle could become less visible to the rider. In such a case, maneuverability will also reduce, and a potential collision could be life-threatening.Drunk riders and drivers
When you decide to ride in the night, you should know that you’re not the only rider. Some other riders and drivers might be drunk. When a drunk driver is behind the wheel, they can’t maintain good road safety tips. Moreover, if the driver has limited vision, he’ll pose dangerous risks on the road for others.Animals
Most animals that run in the night will naturally freeze once they gaze into oncoming headlights. If the animal’s eyes emit a glow, it will be a signal to you of its presence. However, if the eyes don’t, you may not notice their presence in time. Therefore, running through them or trying to maneuver around them at close range could lead to an accident.Motorcycle Safety Tips for Riding at Night
1. Enhance your visibility
Low visibility is a critical safety risk for motorcycle riding at night. But you can make yourself more visible during your night rides in the following ways.
-Wear high visible gear/clothing – Making yourself seen in the night is a great means of reducing accidents. Wear brightly colored clothing or a jacket before your ride. Wearing fluorescent colors such as green, yellow, orange, and white will make you seen by other riders and drivers. When you dress in all black or dark colors, it keeps you hidden and limits your safety.
-Use a white helmet – Wearing a helmet with safety certifications will provide protection in case of accidents. However, while gearing up, select a white helmet. This helps other road users pick you out with ease.
-Include reflective tape – You can increase your visibility by adding reflective tape to your clothing. Such tapes emit reflective lights at night and will help you increase your safety.
-Use a loud exhaust to be heard – Not only should you make yourself more visible, but you also should be heard. Using a loud exhaust for your motorcycle will cause other road users to hear your approaching movement even before seeing you.
2. Increase your Motorcycle visibility
Here are some of the ways you can make your bike more visible:
-Switch on the headlights and clean them when necessary– Riding in the night with a faulty headlight is risky. Instead, ensure your headlight is on and functioning properly. This will help to illuminate your front space. Never ride your motorcycle with streetlights. Also, the lenses of your headlights can get dirty over a long time of usage. With debris and dirt particles on the road, the lenses can become fogged and cloudy. However, with the use of water and clean non-fluffy clothing, you can easily clean the lenses to make the lighting brighter during your ride.
-Ensure your brake handle and lights are functional – Before you embark on a ride in the night, you should check your brake and the brake lights. If other road users can see your brake light, they will know when you’ve hit the brake to slow down. This will increase your safety.
-Clean or replace your visor – Your bike visor can undergo wear and tear. Also, it can become dirty, which will invariably reduce your visibility. Therefore, ensure you regularly clean the visor, and when it becomes too old, replace it.Sources for the tips provided: https://helmetsadvisor.com/motorcycle-safety-tips-for-riding-at-night/
Helmets Advisor Safety Blog