motorcycle in the darkMotorcycling can be a hobby, a passion, and a lifestyle. For many motorcyclists, new and seasoned, riding at night can be an exhilarating experience. While you might have the road to yourself, the darkness can conceal unexpected challenges and invisible dangers.

The Dangers of Riding a Motorcycle at Night

Darkness and reduced visibility could conceal hidden dangers, including but not limited to:

  • Drunk drivers. Intoxicated motorists pose a risk throughout the day. However, most fatal, alcohol-related accidents happen between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. Drunk driving collisions are also more likely to occur on weekends and holidays. 
  • Distracted drivers. Distracted and inattentive driving are two of the most common causes of motorcycle-related crashes. Accidents frequently happen when the other motorist does not “see” a motorcycle in their side- or rear-view mirror or attempts to negotiate an intersection without checking for oncoming traffic.
  • Animals. Tennessee’s rolling hills and mountains attract tourists from across the entire country. Of course, highways and country roads are more than a gateway to our state’s natural wonders: they also bisect forests and fields that have their own non-human inhabitants. Compared to the operators of other automobiles, motorcycle riders who collide with a deer or other large, wild animals have an elevated risk of serious injury and death.
  • Road obstacles. Tennessee has some of the best road infrastructure in the United States. However, even well-maintained roads can deteriorate, forming pot-holes, cracks, and crevices. A motorcyclist traveling at even low speeds could lose their balance—and control of their vehicle—if they hit an unexpected obstacle on a dark road.

Preparing Yourself for a Night Ride

If you are planning to ride at night, whether by choice or necessity, you could enhance your safety by:

  • Increasing your visibility. While it might not seem fair, the small profile of most motorcycles means that other automobile drivers sometimes fail to “notice” moving and stationary bikes alike. You could decrease your chances of sustaining a potentially life-altering accident by wearing an armored jacket with a reflective insignia or reflective tape. You could also consider upgrading your motorcycle’s lighting system or adding additional reflective surfaces to its tail, fairing, and chassis.
  • Maintaining a reasonable speed. Even if you are confident in your riding ability, you can never predict with certainty how animals and other motorists will react to a fast-moving automobile. The Department of Transportation has found that excessive speeds are a major contributor to motorcycle-related crashes and fatalities.
  • Staying attentive. You do not have to feel tired or physically exhausted to lose focus. However, remaining alert and attentive is especially important at night. You should always scan the road ahead for obstacles, animals, and other motorists. If you are traveling at a time when there may be more drunk drivers on the road, stay a safe distance from other vehicles, especially if the operator exhibits any signs of impairment such as weaving, abrupt braking, or inconsistent acceleration.

Recovering From an Accident

Not even the best-prepared biker can avoid every accident. Statistics suggest that a disproportionate number of accidents involving a motorcycle and at least one other vehicle are caused by the other motorist’s inattention, intoxication, or negligence. Unfortunately, motorcycle-related accidents often culminate in severe and even life-altering injuries.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Tennessee motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you could be entitled to significant compensation through an insurance settlement or a personal injury lawsuit. GriffithLaw could help you pursue damages for:

  • Your past, present, and anticipated medical expenses
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Prescription medication co-pays
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Lost income
  • Disability
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Lost enjoyment of life

While Tennessee does not currently cap the damages you could receive after a catastrophic motorcycle accident, you have to act fast: the state statute of limitations could prevent you from securing any and all compensation if you wait too long to take action.

Contact GriffithLaw Today

GriffithLaw believes that no motorcyclist should have to pay the price for another person’s wrongdoing. Our experienced team of Tennessee motorcycle accident attorneys could help you secure the settlement you need and the justice you deserve. Please send us a message online or call us at 615-807-7900 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation as soon as possible.