Just like car accidents, the majority of fatal bike crashes happen after dark. That’s not surprising; visibility is a huge factor in traffic safety. The harder it is to see, and the lower the effective visual range, the less likely drivers are to see cyclists. That said, there are three things every NYC cyclist can do to dramatically reduce their risk of being in a nighttime crash.
Most bikes come with a reflector installed on the rear seat and in the spokes. While this is a start to increasing visibility, it leaves a lot to be desired. These indicators, by themselves, are subtle. Even a cautious driver could miss them. For that reason, some safety organizations recommend putting reflective tape on your bike’s frame and on the back of your helmet, as it will make you much more visible to the average car driver.
The majority of pedestrians and cyclists injured in late-night crashes wear dark or neutral-tone clothing. This makes it much more difficult for drivers to identify someone. If you plan on a late-night bike ride, remember to wear bright colors. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to wear a neon jacket. So long as your colors are brighter shades, you are much more likely to be seen at a distance.
Just as important as making sure that you are visible to others is making sure you can see what’s ahead of you. While many cyclists install lights near their handlebars, these are low to the ground and may not illuminate everything in your path. Generally, it’s better to use a helmet light when you can, as that will help you identify hazards in any direction you look.
Finally, night cyclists may want to invest in LED turn indicators. These are extremely helpful and are far more visible in the dark than using hand signals. The better you are at communicating what you’re doing, and the more visible you are to drivers, the less likely you are to be in a serious wreck.
If you or someone you love were involved in a cycling accident, you need affordable representation from a team you can trust. If you’d like an experienced New York City injury accident attorney from Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices to evaluate your case, don’t hesitate to call us at (718) 690-3132 or send us an email.