A lot of motorists struggle to see bicyclists riding nearby, and the problem can be exacerbated when riding at night. To reduce the chance of an accident, it’s important that bicyclists remember some bicycle safety tips to increase their visibility when riding after dark.
Lights and Reflectors Required by Law
One of the biggest ways visibility can be increased is by riding with lights. Even if someone is bicycling in an area that has lots of street lights, it’s not enough. Not only is there the risk of a bicyclist getting struck by a vehicle, but a collision could happen with another bike or with a pedestrian as well.
Colorado requires lighted lamps between sunset and sunrise. The front of the bike should have a white light that illuminates at least 500 hundred feet forward. The law also requires a red reflector light in the back that illuminates at least 600 feet. Further, bicycles must include reflective material visible from both sides for 600 feet or lighted lamp visible from both sides for 500 feet.
By simulating the same types of lights used on motor vehicles, it makes it easier for others to see a bicycle at night.
Wearing Reflective Clothing to Improve Visibility
Reflective clothing and gear is another way to increase visibility. But keep in mind that this—and any other measures—don’t replace that lights that the law requires. Wearing a helmet and clothing that is also reflective will greatly increase the chance of being seen by motorists. If possible, it should be worn from head to toe.
Another tip is to purchase a helmet that has a light mounted right on it. This not only makes the bicyclist more visible to others, but will light the path in front making it easier to navigate in the dark.
Other Bicycle Safety Tips for Bicycling at Night
Increasing visibility is important. But there are other things to keep in mind when bicycling after dark. One is to simply proceed with even greater caution around vehicles. Making eye contact with motorists is much more difficult in the dark, so bicyclists should slow down if unable to do so. As always, never assume that the motorist sees your bike.
Also keep in mind when night riding is the riskiest. This tends to be over the weekend, when more people are out later and there is a greater chance of encountering an impaired driver. Be especially mindful of the route and whether it provides maximum safety and be observant of surroundings.
Get Legal Help if Injured
Injured bicyclists have a right to pursue compensation for damages if the motorist was negligent and at fault for the accident.
A lawyer can help injured cyclists collect evidence to establish responsibility for the accident, including:
- witness testimony;
- medical records to establish injuries; and
- inspections of the bicycle and vehicle themselves.
Attorney D.J. Banovitz can help. Call 303-300-5060 to set up a consultation to go over your case and discuss taking legal action.