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What Are the Most Dangerous Times to Ride a Motorcycle?

Riding a motorcycle is dangerous even when weather conditions and visibility are perfect. But when riders head out during less-than-ideal times, their risk of being involved in serious accidents can increase.

If you ride a motorcycle, it’s important to do everything in your power to reduce your risks of an accident and serious injuries. That means following all traffic laws, wearing all necessary safety gear, and knowing which times of day to ride—and which times of day you should stay home.

Nearly Half of Fatal Motorcycle Accidents Happen During Daytime and Good Weather

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 83% of fatal motorcycle accidents in 2021 occurred during good weather, and 48.92% occurred during the day. Many riders know that riding at night or during bad weather increases their risk of a crash. However, believing that these are the only times they need to worry about a crash may be a double-edged sword.

When riders are aware that weather and visibility conditions make them more likely to be involved in a crash, they may be more cautious, which can keep them safer. But when riders head out on bright sunny days, they may indulge in less cautious riding and more risk-taking.

The Evening Commute is the Most Dangerous Time to Ride

The Insurance Information Institute says that of all time periods throughout a given week in 2020, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays was the most dangerous for motorcyclists, with 25.9% of fatal weekday crashes occurring during that time period.

The next most dangerous times during weekdays are evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. when drivers may be leaving bars and restaurants (19.8% of fatal crashes), lunch rush from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. (17.3% of fatal crashes), and from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. when drivers are tired and have more difficulty seeing due to the dark (14.1% of fatal crashes).

On weekends, the most dangerous times to ride are between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. (24.1% of fatal crashes) and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (19.5% of fatal crashes).

The risks of riding during the afternoon and early evening rush hour are obvious to anyone who has ever commuted for work or school. There’s more traffic on the road, and drivers are often tired and ready to get home. That means drivers may be less attentive, more likely to take risks, and more likely to drive aggressively, putting riders at risk.

Riding at Night is Slightly More Dangerous than Riding During the Day

The NSC says that 50.44% of fatal motorcycle accidents in 2021 happened at night. Despite nighttime riding being only slightly more dangerous than daytime riding, there are certain risks to nighttime riding that aren’t as prevalent during the day.

Increased risks associated with nighttime riding include:

  • Greater difficulty seeing hazards, including potholes, tree limbs, flooded areas, and more
  • Greater difficulty judging the distance and speed of other vehicles
  • Greater difficulty of other drivers seeing motorcyclists
  • Greater likelihood of encountering drunk or impaired drivers

How Can You Reduce Your Risks When Riding Your Motorcycle During Dangerous Times?

The data from the NSC is clear: serious and fatal motorcycle accidents can and do happen anytime—including during what many riders consider ideal riding conditions. That means you can’t count on any particular time of day to be a safe time to ride. Instead, you need to count on your own riding ability and the precautions you take to reduce your risks.

The best ways to reduce your risks whether you’re riding on a sunny day or a rainy night is to:

Increase your visibility to other drivers.

Turn on your headlight and wear brightly colored and reflective gear, even when you are riding during the day. The biggest risk motorcyclists face on the road, regardless of the time of day or visibility conditions, is other drivers not seeing them.

Be aware of left-turning drivers.

Drivers turning left in front of motorcyclists causes more crashes than any over negligent act by other road users. These crashes occur because drivers often don’t check for motorcyclists before pulling out in front of them. If you notice that you’re approaching a vehicle waiting to turn left, assume that the driver doesn’t see you.

Don’t ride when drowsy, distracted, impaired, or impatient.

Riding a motorcycle requires more focus, skill, and patience than driving a passenger vehicle. For those reasons, only ride when you are clear-headed and ready to face potentially dangerous situations on Oklahoma’s roads.

Brush up on your riding skills.

Regardless of whether you’re a novice rider or you’ve got decades of experience under your belt, it never hurts to take a motorcycle safety class in Oklahoma to brush up on your skills. The more knowledge and skill you have, the greater your chances of avoiding a crash.

Contact Our Oklahoma Motorcycle Accident Lawyers After a Crash

When you ride a motorcycle, you don’t just put your health and life into your own hands. You also put them into the hands of the people driving near you. When those people drive negligently, they can cause you to suffer devastating injuries that can put you out of work for months or even years.

At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, it’s our goal to help injured motorcyclists get every penny they need for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us anytime for a free case review to learn how we can help.