Surely you have already heard a hundred times: when driving at night, always bring a good set of lights. However, it is not uncommon to make a few simple mistakes that affect its effectiveness.
Here are some tips to help you pedal safely in poor visibility conditions.
Use visible lights at least 200 meters
This may seem like an exaggeration, but if you consider that an Olympic runner can cover this distance in less than 20 seconds, this means that the driver who travels at high speed will have very little time and distance to react when seeing us.
Make sure your lights are charged
Before pedaling, check that your batteries have an adequate charge. Do not wait until the charge is completely depleted to change or recharge the battery or lights, as the case may be.
Just because your bulb is still flashing does not guarantee that it is of adequate intensity to be seen from a safe distance.
Choose your lights according to your needs
There are front lights that only have the function of making you visible to other people with whom you share the roads. Others also have the function of lighting your way.
If you are going to pedal through decently lit streets a few lights to be seen are more than enough. On the other hand, if your route includes roads with little lighting or in poor condition, the most recommended is a light with sufficient intensity and a beam that allows you to see the road.
Use red light in the rear
This is important, since this way other street users will be able to know if you are coming or going. Another important reason is that red light is simpler to perceive by the human eye at a greater distance.
As with your headlight, it should also be clearly visible from a minimum of 200 meters away. As already mentioned, the red light is more visible, so generally the rear lights tend to have a lower luminous flux than the front ones.
Avoid obstructing your lights
It is always advisable to fix the taillight to the bike, in such a way that it is always visible and at a suitable angle. Some recommended places to place it are on the rack or seat post. Alternatively, you can put it in your backpack, helmet, even some seat bags include a lamp holder.
Whichever point you choose to install your light, always make sure you don't obstruct it with your jacket or backpack, for example.
Use reflective materials
Another good recommendation to make yourself visible on the streets is to use reflective materials on your bike or as part of your clothing. In addition to the reflectors that many bikes already include, there are endless alternatives that will help make you much more visible.
You can find from covers with reflective bands on their sides, self-adhesive designs that you can stick at different points of your frame and more.
As for garments, you can find tapes that you can place on your ankles, vests and even jackets and other garments specially designed for cycling. The variety is huge.
Fluorescent is not the same as reflective. Fluorescent colored clothing is quite striking during the day, but at night a garment with reflective material is much more attractive.
Always stay alert
Even if you have already equipped yourself with the latest in cycling clothing and lights, do not trust yourself. You always have to pay attention and anticipate the actions of other people or even the road conditions and thus avoid accidents.
We hope that these tips will be of great use to you and that they will help you to enjoy those night rides. If you want to read more bike safety tips, visit our helpful info page.