Riding a bike is a great way to travel around the city. Some people only bike for fun, while others use it as their primary transportation to work or school. When you find yourself biking at night, you must be careful. Automobile drivers may not see you, especially if it is dark out. Often,bicycles are even difficult to see during the day.Here are some tips to travel safely on your bike at night.
Know the route
Even if you think you know a shorter route, do not make abrupt turns or stops when sharing the road with other vehicles. Visibility is significantly reduced at night, making a small vehicle like a bike difficult to see even with lights or reflective gear. Automobile drivers tend to be more focused on the other vehicles around them, rather than bikes using the same lane or a bike lane alongside the road.
The condition of the road can also be dangerous. Potholes, uneven pavement, loose gravel, and excessive traffic are common issues. It is smart to find a route that is less congested or in good condition to avoid crashing your bike and sustaining injuries. Using familiar routes will keep you safe.
Lights, lights and more lights
The best way to ensure that a motorist will see you is by using front and rear lights. By using a flashing front and rear light on your bike, you are increasing your visibility and decreasing your chances of having an accident. The rear of the bike needs a large red light. Studies show 40% of all bike accidents are from rear collisions. Ankle lights are also useful to wear. This traces the movement of your feet as you pedal.
Reflective clothing is a good option for riding during the day and at night. There are also options that are retro-reflective. These will glow when lights hit them, keeping you much safer. Do not forget to add retro-reflective strips to your helmet and wheels.
Obey the law
If there is a bike lane, use it. Do not attempt to weave in and out of traffic or around parked cars. It is wise to assume you are invisible. If you do not have a safe route along the side of the road, turn on all your lights and ride in the middle of the lane. In this situation, you should opt for a different route. Yes, you have a right to use the roads just like automobile drivers. But riding in the road at night increases your chances of having an accident. At night, your only job is to stay safe on the street.
Maintain your bike
You should check your bike often. Check the tires, chain, gears, breaks, and lights. Do not neglect your bike. If it needs repairs, repair them or have them done at a bike shop. Riding your bike at night is much safer if you take these precautions and use biking gear that will increase your visibility in the dark.