Being visible to others while riding your bike is the key to avoiding accidents. While most people focus on night time visibility, far more hours on the bike are spent under the sun. Here are a few tips to keep you safe and visible all day.
The easiest way to be visible is to wear highly visible clothing. Whereas black may be slimming, it doesn’t offer others the best chance to see you. The most visible color available is aptly named high visibility yellow. It’s bright yellow is not found naturally and sticks out against the backdrop of normal roads and paths. If hi-vis yellow isn’t for you, try to wear other colors that would stand out, like bright blue, red, or orange.
Many companies are recommending riders use their lights during the day as well as at night for a great reason. Active forms of visibility like blinking lights do a lot to attract the attention of others. For best visibility and longest battery life, use your lights in “blink mode” rather than a steady beam.
Most cars sold in the US are equipped with daytime running lights. For that reason, the reflectors on your bike will shine back a drivers during the day and alert them to your presence. Beyond the standard reflectors your bicycle comes with, think about adding adhesive reflective tape to bags, helmets as well as your bike.
Being visible while riding can be as simple as your position on the road. In situations where there isn’t enough room for a bike and car, be sure to take up enough space as to ensure no driver could miss seeing you and try to “squeeze” past. Also, ride at a controlled speed where there may be blind corners, driveways, or crosswalks. Additionally, don’t stop in places where others can’t see you until it’s too late.
No amount of visibility will make up for erratic riding. Be sure to signal where you are going so Drivers, riders, or pedestrians know where you are headed. When overtaking riders or walkers from behind, be sure to let them know where you are going with a simple “on your left” or “on your right”. Then, give them a moment before passing
Kids riding bikes is something we need to preserve in this digital world. The best way to keep kids on bikes is to keep it fun and safe. Try to have 2 adults riding with kids if possible, one leading and one following. Be sure to remind children of how and when to signal, and dress them in visible clothing. Because kids bikes are lower to the ground than an adult bike, they can go unnoticed, a flag mounted to the bike reminds drivers that there is a bike below.
Following these tips will limit the chance of an accidents and keep your rides fun and safe.