As fun as motorcycles are, they are also full of safety hazards. One of the biggest safety hazards is visibility. Seeing and being seen is a key component to keeping each ride safe. Indian Motorcycle has recently filled out a patent application that indicates that they’re working to develop new lighting technology that would make riding a motorcycle safer.
Indian hopes headlights lead to fewer accidents
The biggest safety issues motorcyclists face is a lack of visibility. During nighttime rides, it’s sometimes difficult for them to see things like potholes, deer, and other items that can result in a tragic collision. Data collected by the Insurance Information Institute revealed that in 2018, 1,313 motorcycle fatalities occurred between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Indian hopes that its new headlights will significantly reduce accidents and make the open road safe for everyone.
The patent office received an application from Indian Motorcycles that pertained to the headlights in May of 2020. The application was published in October.
“Our friends over at RideApart recently dug it up, and it’s absolutely fascinating.,” Bradley Brownell wrote in a Jalopnik article. “The system uses sensors from all over your motorcycle to provide a speed and lean-angle sensitive pattern of light emission. Having ridden several thousand miles myself in the pitch black of night, I am definitely behind and in support of anything that makes night visibility better.”
The lighting system Indian has devised involves installing sensors all over the motorcycle. Technology connects the sensors and sends the data to the headlights which would swiftly adapt to road conditions. If the system works, bikers should experience improved nighttime vision. It appears the system would take into account several factors, including low/high beam elements, road curve, lean angle, and even speed to determine exactly how much illumination is needed.
According to RideApart, Indian used the Roadmaster to depict exactly how the new lighting system would work on a motorcycle. While the Roadmaster was used on the application, there’s no reason to believe that that’s the only bike the system would work with. RideApart feels that if the sensors work, they could appear on a wide range of vehicles, including scooters and boats.
Staying safe on night rides
If you plan on taking your bike out on night rides, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to do everything you can to stay as safe as possible. Even though Indian’s headlight technology isn’t yet available, there are still many things you can do that will increase the likelihood of you making it home safe from your nighttime journey.
Full protective gear, particularly gear that has some reflective strips on it is extremely important during nighttime rides. The reflective strips don’t help you see, but they do make you more visible to oncoming traffic. The padding in the protective gear helps protect your body from serious injuries if you do get into an accident.
Check your lights before embarking on your nighttime journey. The lights need to be bright and every single one should be working perfectly. Don’t forget to check your brakes and blinkers as well as your headlights and taillights.
Night rides aren’t the time to explore unfamiliar and curvy roads. Stick to the roads you know well and use extreme caution when you’re riding after dark.
Staying safe during the day
While night rides are dangerous, you can’t afford to become lax about safety during the day. The biggest risk to motorcycle riders during the day is other motorists. Motorcycles can sometimes be hard to see, a split second of inattention from a person in a car or a motorcyclist can result in a tragic accident. If you’re riding in the day, keep your lights on which makes it easier for drivers in cars to spot you and make sure you ride defensively.
What steps do you take to stay safe each time you’re on your motorcycle?