If you’re an avid bicycle rider then you know that riding your bike is something that happens. The sun sets and you have to get home so you have no other options except to bike home. If this does happen to you on a regular basis you’ll want to do everything in your power to make sure that you remain seen by other drivers and that you stay safe on the road. A lot of times motorists find it hard to see you during the daytime, so this danger and inability to see you only increases exponentially as it gets dark.
This becomes even more dangerous the later it gets, as the drivers that are most likely to be on the road will be tired.
Most bicyclists riding at night assume that the car headlights illuminate them so they are easier to see, however this isn’t always the case. At times, the visibility is so low and the cars are traveling at such high speeds that you won’t even be noticed until its too late.
In this article we’re going to illustrate why it’s so hard for bikers to be seen at night as well as some steps you can take as bicyclist to make sure you remain safe while you’re on the road.
Why is it so hard to see a person on a bicycle at night?
A big part of being able to see a person riding a bicycle at night, is the color of clothing. Black clothing blends into the lack of surrounding light and goes a long way towards increasing your invisibility. Even having reflectors doesn’t increase your chances of being seen by that much.
Bikers usually overestimate how easy it is for them to be seen, and usually assume that cars can see them from a further away distance than they actually can.
What can I do as a bicyclist to make sure I’m more visible at night?
If you absolutely have to ride your bicycle at night you’ll want to do everything in your power to make sure that you can be seen. This means you’ll want to wear the brightest clothing possible. Neon colors and bright orange and yellow will help you out here. You will also want to have a back taillight and a headlight. In some cases you can even have a blinking red light on your back, which will increase your visibility. You can also ensure that you have reflectors on your tires, the back of your bike and even on your helmet.
Just think that the brighter you are the better chance you’ll have at being seen, and thus it will ensure a safe ride home.
I hope this article has been helpful and you have a better understanding at why the visibility decreases for bikers so much when the sun sets, as well as what bikers can do to increase their likelihood of being seen. If you’re a biker it’s better to assume that cars won’t be able to see you and take every precaution necessary. If you’re a driver it’s important to keep an eye out for bikers, even if you think the road is open.
Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at Alamo Injury Attorneys, a personal injury law firm in San Antonio, Texas. Zane doens’t trust his fellow drivers enough to bike at night.
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