Summer Safety Tip: Keep Your Bicycle Visible

Summer brings warmer weather and longer nights This means there will be more bicyclists out on the road.

Many riders overestimate their ability to be seen. They feel that if they can see well enough to ride, others should be able to see them. But every motorist at some point or another has experienced pulling out of a spot almost directly into the path of another car because they didn’t see the second vehicle. This usually happens because at the critical moment, the second car might have been in the driver’s blind spot. While most of these encounters end in nothing more than a temporary adrenaline rush, they do sometimes cause serious accidents.

When this occurs with a bicyclist, the results can even be fatal. If you are a bicyclist, keeping yourself visible to motorists is critical. Bicycles should have three points of light. The front, the rear and the sides.

While most bicycles come equipped with reflectors on the tire spokes, this is not enough. Reflectors can provide good visibility for overtaking traffic, but most incidents of auto – bike collisions come from the front or side of the cyclist. The headlight beams of vehicles on intersecting paths with cyclists often do not shine upon the reflectors of a bicycle until it is too late for the motorist to yield right of way or avoid collision. Instead of relying on reflectors, a bright flashing light which can be mounted on the bike frame is a better option. This will catch the attention of a motorist much quicker than a reflective light.

Bicycle headlamps should emit a steady white light. Rules of the road dictate that white lights go in front and red lights go in back. This indicates the direction of travel. Using a using a red lamp on the front of a bicycle is likely to cause opposite-direction divers to underestimate the closing speed between vehicles because they will expect the red-lighted object to be either stationary or moving in the same direction. Additionally, a white headlamp will increase visibility for the bicyclist.

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A red rear lamp makes a bicycle visible to motorists behind them. It’s important to have a lamp bright enough to be seen by motorists at enough of a distance to slow or stop in time when traveling at high speeds. Rear bicycle lights are visible at longer distances and have a wider angles than most reflectors. They also don’t depend on vehicle headlights to be effective.

As important as it is for motorists to take extra precaution during the warmer weather, the burden of safety is on the bicyclists. Adding a few of these Safety Lights will help keep you out of harms way.

Source by Wendy R Megyese