Whenever possible, it is safer for you to ride your bicycle during the day rather than at night. Motorists already have trouble seeing you on your bicycle, and reduced visibility due to darkness can increase your risk of a collision.
However, sometimes you may have no choice but to ride your bicycle at night, especially as summer gives way to fall. The Cleveland Clinic offers some tips to help keep you safe and avoid an accident on your bicycle at night.
1. Wear reflective materials
Bright colors may be sufficient during the day, but even these are unlikely to reflect enough light to keep you visible at night. You can stick reflective duct tape onto the back of your clothing and on your bike, or you can purchase and wear clothing made from material woven with reflective elements.
2. Use adequate illumination
If you are going to ride your bicycle at night, you should invest in a lighting system for your bike. This allows you to see where you are going in addition to helping others to see you. The system you choose should have lights in the rear as well as the front. An adequate lighting system for your bike is one with at least 800 lumens. These systems may be slightly more expensive but are the only ones that provide light that is bright enough.
3. Choose safe routes
If possible, choose lighted bike paths or roads with designated bike lanes. If there are none available, choose roads that have less traffic in the evening, as well as adequate lighting. Some street lights turn off automatically after a certain time, so if you are not sure whether they will still be on when you need them for your bike ride, double-check.