Cycling Safety Tips - Winter means dark commutes making cycling safety even more important.
Cycling safety is a topic I feel very strongly about, and being both a car driver and cyclist I can see it from both perspectives.
Last weekend I had a close shave with a motorist who pulled out of a side road in front of me when I was out cycling in the countryside. It was a bright day with lots of visibility and I was wearing my bright yellow night vision cycling jacket. On stopping the driver actually said to me ‘sorry mate I didn’t see you’. I couldn’t believe it as the SMIDSY campaign came to mind. The driver was very apologetic and a little shaken up, but luckily there was no oncoming traffic and so no broken bones. I have been meaning to write a blog about cycling safety for a while now and this incident has finally prompted me to do it.
Winter nights and dark mornings closing in and we as cyclists are almost invisible to car drivers. Imagine the other traffic has bright lights that dazzle, the rain may well be blurring vision, and there is the blind spot. Even the most cyclist-aware driver may have a difficult time spotting cyclists, and are two wheeled commuters really at the top of the average drivers considerations?
10 Top Cycling Safety Tips:
Night riding can be fun and during the winter for commuters often there is no option but to ride in low-light conditions. By ensuring you are using bright bike lights, wearing high-viz apparel such as the Altura Night Vision Cycling Jacket and glove range which are visible, breathable and waterproof. Using LED lights on your clothing, helmet and bike can also add to the visibility.
My advice to you though is not to feel too confident in your visibility and safety, and consider your own safety at all times. At the end of the day as a cyclist you are not protected by a ton of metal, so no matter how visible you are, how bright your night vision cycling jacket is and even if you have bright bike lights you are still a vulnerable road user. Be careful.