If you are riding your bicycle at night, you must take extra caution to avoid accidents. Whether you’re cycling on lighted roads in town or unlit streets, it is vital to be adequately equipped and prepared.
According to agrusslawfirm.com, there are some essential steps you need to consider when making a ride at night.
Tips for a Safe Riding in the Dark
No doubt riding at night is way more dangerous than during the day. For safe and enjoyable nighttime cycling, you should:
Use Appropriate Lighting
Lights are by far the most important things for your night riding. Whether riding in the city or a rural area, you need to ensure that drivers can clearly see you and you can see the road ahead of you.
At a minimum, you need to have flashing front and rear lights. You may need different lights in town than when riding on unlit roads or off-road. It’s worth having various lights. You can use specific flashing to alert road users and a steady light for illumination.
Use Reflective Gear
Studies have shown that the number of bike riding fatalities is increasing yearly. The common mistake most bicyclists make is overestimating their visibility when cycling. If you want to stay safe when riding your bike, use some reflective tape on your bike frames, pedals, helmet, rims, gloves (for drivers to see your hand signals), and clothing. Be sure to have several reflective surfaces on your clothing and bike when you ride at night so drivers can’t miss seeing you.
Obey Traffic Rules
It might be tempting to ignore traffic rules, especially if you are in a hurry, but this is one of the leading causes of bike accidents. It’s hazardous to weave through traffic or around parked cars. There are many inattentive drivers, so you need to be as safe as possible.
In most cases, it’s safer to ride in the middle of the lane instead of along the side, as it may be a real danger to get clipped by passing cars. It’s better to annoy the drivers behind you than compromise your safety.
Ensure Your Bike is in Top Condition
Take extra care of your bike to minimize the chances of breaking down. Always inspect your bike chains, tires, and brakes, so they don’t fail you while in traffic. You’ll want to avoid getting a flat in a rough area at night. It would be best to keep a phone on you if riding alone at night.
Carry Gear With You
Nothing is worse than falling or getting stranded in the dark and not having the right gear by your side. Before going on the road, carry a flashlight, spare batteries for your bike lights, and a tire pump in your kit.
Biking at night may seem intimidating, but if you stay alert and follow the above safety tips, you will enjoy a safe ride.
The Most Common Types of Bike Accidents
Suppose you have been injured in a bike accident. It is imperative to seek help from a personal injury attorney to receive financial compensation for your medical bills. The most common types of bike accidents involve:
- Dooring – when a driver or passenger opens a car door in the path of a cyclist, causing the bicyclist to crash;
- Failure to yield – many drivers believe bicyclists should yield to them, but the truth is that each party should yield to one other when necessary;
- Distracted driving;
- Right of way confusion;
- Right turn, no signal – when a car driver makes a left turn without looking for an oncoming bicycle, causing a collision;
- Road rage – not respecting the rights of cyclists.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) states that around 2% of traffic fatalities are bicyclists. Unfortunately, since 1975, the fatality rate of cyclists over 20 years of age and older has tripled. Separately, the most common injuries are head injuries, which can result in traumatic brain injuries. Contact a personal injury attorney immediately if you have been injured in a bike accident due to someone else’s negligence.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about cycling at night.
Is it legal to ride a bike without lights?
It depends on the state. Some states require a front and rear light when cycling at night, while others only require a rear light.
What is the best bike light for night riding?
The best bike light for night riding is bright enough to see and be seen. A front and the rear light set is ideal. You can take a look at Protocol Bike Safety Light Set.
What are the best reflective materials for cycling at night?
The best reflective materials for cycling at night are bright and visible from all angles. You can find reflective vests, armbands, and even tires.
Can I ride my bike on the sidewalk at night?
It depends on the state. Some states allow cycling on sidewalks, while others do not. It is always best to check with your local laws before cycling on the sidewalk.
What should I do if I am cycling at night and don’t have lights?
If you are cycling at night and don’t have lights, stay on well-lit roads and avoid cycling in areas with little to no lighting. You can also try to find reflective materials to help make yourself more visible.
Final Safety Tips
Riding at night can be risky due to the low visibility, so take all the necessary precautions before heading out on the road. Under no circumstances should you ride your bike at night without proper lights. You need to be seen by all drivers. By knowing and adhering to safety precautions, you can avoid life-altering accidents.