Be Bright & Stay Safe!! 🙂 🙂
Statistics will try to tell us that most cycling accidents occur during daylight hours, but as most people cycle during this period are we really getting the true perspective??
We all know that during periods of darkness and low visibility such as mist & fog visual interaction with others can be difficult, especially for road users moving at speed ie drivers of motorised vehicles, many cyclists are also drivers and will know this from their own experiences.
Whether it be down to poor lighting, dark clothing, poor manoeuvring or any combination of the three, some cyclists just do not help themselves in promoting their presence to other road users.
Certainly during recent years the quality and range of high visibility products and lighting has grown and improved tenfold.
There is certainly no reason any more for a cyclist to give the opportunity to the pedestrian who steps out in front of you or the motorist who has been lacking in attention to use that time worn excuse “Sorry mate, I just didn’t see you!!”
Some of us have a choice of whether we ride during the hours of darkness, some do not as the bike is their mode of regular transport, others will ride out by choice to continue their training regime through the winter months. Whatever the reason for being out on the bike the fact remains that cycling gives us all some great health benefits, so why jeopardise our health and well being by skimping on lights or items of good illumination and visibility.
Investment in a good hi-vis jacket or reflective waistcoat is money well spent, although quite often as the picture below demonstrates people will make the effort only to hide their clothing under a rucksack, not a problem, just invest in a reflective rucksack cover!
Lights have become so much smaller and lighter of late, yet the illumination that they offer is often so much greater than of old. The old adage of the more the merrier is certainly true here! A good light on the front is essential for picking out potholes, debris in the road and to generally seeing where you are going, an additional flashing front light will help draw attention to you making people aware of your presence, and a third smaller light fixed to your helmet will illuminate anything you look at in any direction you look serving to pick out signs, road names etc
On the rear certainly, the more the better, and flashing LED’s are so much more visible from a distance. Beware of their positioning on the bike, sometimes if fixed to the seat post they can be obscured by a long coat or bag hanging off your back, does your pannier or the items on your rack obscure the light in anyway? Again two or even three lights to the rear is advisable. Remember if the batteries start to fade in one light you can rest easy in that you always have a reserve!! Batteries mostly have a good burn time nowadays particularly in the flashing modes of the LED lights.
Remember also that at times of passing side streets or going around a roundabout it helps to be seen from the side, there are lights available which fit to the wheel spokes of to the frame forks for this benefit, but again an luminous cycling jacket is good.
Of course safety in the dark is not all down to being visible and lit up like a Christmas tree, every cyclist should adopt good riding practices such as keeping clear of the kerbs and drain covers that may throw you off, be more aware of potholes which on to days roads are becoming more of an everyday hazard, lookout ahead for road furniture ie islands and bollards, don’t assume that you have been seen, and when pulling out have a good look around, take extra care and always be ready to take evasive action.
Remember stay safe, keep fit and above all enjoy your cycling, why not check out our lighting and safety section of the online shop?