For a lot of motorcycle riders including me, nighttime riding is fun because there are fewer cars, the weather is cooler and there are fewer tricycles on the road. But, riding at night is also a little difficult as some of our roads are poorly lit, there are also the challenges of oncoming glare from fellow motorists, and from bright LED billboards.
Darkness is something we cannot change, but there are ways to improve our nighttime riding vision. Here are five simple ways to improve your nighttime riding vision that are the simplest way to give you a better night ride.
Rest your eyes
Probably, the easiest thing to do is to rest your eyes before embarking on nighttime riding. Tired eyes, brought about by a whole day of being in front of a computer or mobile browsing, or even watching TV, can be difficult to use in low light conditions, which in turn can reduce your safety and effectiveness while riding. Your eyes could also get easily irritated by the glare of the other vehicle's lights if they are tired, making it more difficult to ride at night.
Experts recommend keeping your eyes well-rested and preventing them from becoming strained in the should always be a top priority. If it can't be helped, consider resting your eyes for at least 20 minutes before embarking on driving or riding at night.
Clean your helmet visor
Being a motorcycle rider, your vision can only be as effective as the way they see through your helmet visor. That being said, make it a habit to clean your helmet visor every time after a motorcycle ride and before you put them on your head before riding. Cleaning the helmet visor is very simple and usually would only require a clean damp cloth.
Also, if there are already visible scratches on your helmet's visor because of age or if it was dropped, consider replacing your helmet for your own safety. You can read our tips from our previous story When to change your helmet.
Remember, it would only cost a few thousand pesos for a new motorcycle-specific helmet and who knows how much if you are to be hospitalized because you figured in an accident because you can hardly see through your helmet's visor.
Try using night driving glasses
Aside from the difficulty of riding in the dark, another hazard that riders continuously face during night riding is glare. Glare can come from a brightly lit advertisement billboard or oncoming traffic as some inconsiderate or careless driver or rider might leave their high beams on and impair your vision. You won't be able to see what's in front of you as your eyes are unable to adjust to the sudden brightness. In those few seconds you're blinded, the car or motorcycle in front could have hit the brakes.
Thankfully, night driving glasses are now more accessible. No, we're not telling you to wear your sunglasses at night. Night driving eyewear is specifically designed to avoid being temporarily blinded by bright lights. How so? For instance, Sorrento Sunwear uses polarized lenses and an anti-reflective coating to cut down as much glare as possible. The yellow tint, on the other hand, helps you pick up objects in low lighting, further enhancing vision.
Sorrento Sunwear's night driving eyewear also allows for better contrast and color perception, which gives you view out front that's all thanks to its HD Polar+ technology. Yes, you can also wear them during the daytime, which makes it all the more versatile. Lenses are interchangeable, giving you a choice between the aforementioned yellow tint, standard smoked lens, or a light shade of blue. Even with the other shade, Sorrento Sunwear's lenses can still pick out minute details your eyes can't, again thanks to HD Polar+ tech.
The Python model we tried comes with a flexible frame too, so you can easily wear it with your full-face helmet on. It also comes with a removable lower lens rim, so you can have an extra option on how to wear your cool Sorrento Sunwear.
Aim your headlights properly
Another cost-effective way to improve your nighttime riding vision is by aiming your motorcycle's headlight properly. Though generally, your motorcycle's headlights are already aimed at the right angle straight from the factory. However, your height or some other factors during shipment could make that headlight's aim not suitable for you. So it is best to customize your motorcycle headlight's aim to your preference by following the adjustment procedure from your motorcycle owner's manual.
If your motorcycle's headlight is aimed properly on the road, you're seeing more and is less likely to blind the oncoming motorists.
Use auxiliary lights (in accordance with law requirements)
To reduce production costs, there are some motorcycle manufacturers that produce motorcycles that have a headlight that would make manong guard's (security guard) flashlight better for nighttime riding. This is especially true with many underbones and scooters which have a headlight that barely emits the light that you need to see the road at night.
If you have this kind of motorcycle, consider upgrading to a better quality or higher-wattage bulb that can be accommodated on the headlight. There are also aftermarket LED bulbs available that have the same stock wattage as the stock bulb but emit far better light.
If that does not fix it, consider adding auxiliary lights as a last resort. The Land Transportation Office or LTO has permitted the use of auxiliary lights, provided that you meed these 10 simple guidelines:
Auxiliary LED lights should have separate wiring and a separate switch from the main headlight.
Auxiliary LED lights should be pointed downwards and not towards the left side of the road.
Auxiliary LED lights should only be white or yellowish in color.
Auxiliary LED lights should be placed/ installed where it will not be affected by the motorcycle's vibration.
Auxiliary LED lights should not be used in well-lighted areas or if there is an oncoming vehicle.
Only two (2) auxiliary LED lights are permitted.
The LTO permits up to six (6) bulbs per auxiliary LED light.
The auxiliary LED light's beam should be pointed 20 centimeters downward and up to 10 meters ahead only.
Auxiliary LED lights should not be placed on any position above the motorcycle's handlebars.
Auxiliary LED lights cannot be used as a replacement for the motorcycle's stock headlights.
Again, we reiterate that you follow what the law says. Your motorcycle's headlight can only be white or yellowish in color, that goes the same with auxiliary lights if you were to install them.