Bike lights and road safety

As any keen cyclist knows, road safety is paramount; yet it is surprising just how many people are willing to risk life and limb by riding their cycles without appropriate safety gear. So what is the appropriate gear exactly? The clothing you wear is very important if you plan on cycling often or for long distances. Loose fitting clothes which are easy to move in are important as restriction of movement could potentially slow down your reactions in a dangerous situation and sometimes seconds can save lives. Don’t forget that fluorescent clothing is incredibly useful and not only after dark but also in the daytime during poor weather, a foggy or even an overcast day can reduce visibility significantly and ensuring that you can be easily seen by motorists, fellow cyclists and pedestrians is of paramount importance. Reflective bands for ankles and arms are a great investment and should be part of your everyday cycling wear. Bike lights are a legal requirement and care should be taken in choosing the best available for your bike.

All about bike lights

It is illegal and very dangerous to ride without bike lights and the following requirements should be carefully considered at all times. Check that your bicycle has the following.
A white front light should always be present
A red rear light is equally important
A red rear reflector
Amber reflectors on the front and back of each pedal

You can also fit reflectors on your wheels for added visibility and this is an excellent idea if you live in an area with a lack of decent lighting. It’s not only rural areas which suffer for poor lighting but many suburban areas too. Flashing bike lights are worth the investment as they naturally draw more attention that a sedentary light but there are certain rules which must be carefully adhered to for your own safety and that of others. Flashing lights must flash at a rate of 1-4 equal flashes per second.

Extra bike lights

It can be a good idea to add more bike lights if desired but they should still adhere to the regulations and be fitted in the correct areas and be the correct colour, i.e. a white light at the front and a red light at the back. It is extremely important to remember that other people on the road may be dazzled by overly bright lights. Regular maintenance of your bike lights should be carried out with care. Cleaning them and checking that they work is an obvious thing to some but it is all to easy to become complacent about road safety and checking equipment, especially for regular cyclists. A broken or dysfunctional light could lead to you not being seen on a dark, busy or poorly lit road and it is oversights like this which can lead to fatal accidents. So take care to ensure your bicycle is properly equipped with all that you need to stay safe on the roads.