There are a lot of similarities between riding at night and riding in the rain. With riding at night, there are an equal amount of things you need to watch out for!
Between 5-7pm, you could likely be caught in rush-hour traffic. There are a lot more cars and scooters on the road and most people have an itch to get home as soon as possible. Visibility is poor, and there are a lot more lights coming from different directions. People are tired, some of them grumpy, and they just want to get home to their soft couches.
This is the time you need to keep calm and remember your training. Observe everything that is going on around you. Use your mirrors and take things slow. Make sure your lights are switched on and you are visible to other motorists.
I often see other people on the roads neglecting to switch their lights on (both cars and motorcycles). Indicate to let other motorists know your every move.
Do not automatically assume people will see or stop for you, so ride carefully and expect the unexpected.
Common things you will see on Taiwan roads at night, and what to watch out for:
- Last second indicating
- No indicating
- No lights switched-on on motor vehicles or scooters
- Cars and scooters crossing intersections while passing through red lights
- U-turns in peak traffic (without signaling)
- Road blockages because of traffic
- Swarms of motorcycles / scooters
- Pedestrians on crosswalks using mobile phones
- Cars and scooters not stopping for pedestrians
- Pedestrians walking slowly over crossings
- Other scooters riding uncomfortably close
Ride cautiously and be prepared for anything! Stay calm and alert, and observe what is going on all around you at all times. Safety first!