Driving Your Scooter at Night

Driving Your Scooter at Night

There is quite possibly a high number of scooter owners who have never ridden at night. However, night riding can be a truly exhilarating experience. Whether the need has never arisen, or you’re concerned over the additional hazards of night riding, here are some tips should you ever need to take a ride after dark.

Night riding can even have its benefits. Our headlamps help us to stand out, perhaps increasing our presence on the road even more than during the day. Some potential hazards are easier to spot at night such as the approaching sweep of a bend. The headlamp also serves to warn other road users that you are approaching around that bend or over that hill. A suddenly disappearing rear light indicates that a steep drop or sudden corner lie ahead.

One of the key points to remember when riding in an area not lit by streetlamps is to always keep a speed that enables you to stop in the distance you can see in front of you is clear. This is easy to forget when riding in familiar places to ride outside of this range, but then you are relying on luck alone. If you’re going to be heading out after dark, make sure your scooter is in great condition. Think about getting it serviced at a specialist scooter service and repairs garage.

Riding at night is not statistically the most dangerous time for scooter or motorbike riders. Dawn and dusk are riskier as there is less contrast and colours become muted etc. It is these times that other road users fail to spot riders as they blend into the muted background. If you’re riding at dusk or dawn, or just before bad weather hits (which produces similar lighting) you need to stay particularly vigilant.

If you know you’ll be doing some night riding, it’s a great idea to ensure your glasses (if you wear them) and visor are clean and free of scratches. Glare from approaching vehicle lights will be made worse by grubby or scratched surfaces in front of our eyes. When faced with an oncoming vehicle that has forgotten to turn off full beam, lessen the glare by turning your eyes to the side of the road, using the road edge markings to lead you until you’ve passed the vehicle. Keep aware of peripheral hazards and reduce your speed accordingly.

Even though we have our headlamps to give us presence, night riding is safer still with the use of high visibility clothing. Wearing high viz is a good idea during the day and night, particularly any coats or tabards/vests with reflective strips. While you might not think it looks particularly cool, when it comes to not being injured or killed – it’s a price worth paying. Reflective tape can also be added to your scooter. You can even purchase some pretty slick reflective flame decals to place on your helmet. Being seen is the key aim of night riding.

Staying in the middle of your lane is the best position to be highly visible to other road users. Too close to the left and you become part of the scenery, too close to the centre lines and you enter the part of the road’s surface that’s the most slippery. Night driving requires greater focus which can be draining and monotonous. For longer journeys, take regular breaks and stay alert.