Tips to Help You Stay Safe When Riding Your Bicycle After Dark

In the heat of summer, many riders like to take advantage of the cooler night temperatures to squeeze in a quick ride. What is normally a leisurely activity becomes more dangerous when the sun goes down.

At night, drivers have a limited line of vision. Their headlights are sometimes the only form of lighting on the streets in front of them. In addition, depth and peripheral vision is worsened because of the poor lighting conditions. As a cyclist in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, or elsewhere in Maryland, it is up to you to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe.

Preparing for Nighttime Riding

Preparing for your bike ride before your clips hit the pedals is the best way to stay as safe as possible on your ride. Following are a few tips to review before you head out after dark:

  • Grab extra lights. To make it as easy as possible for cars to see you on the roadway, you need to have a bright front and back light. The color of the light matters too, as it lets drivers know which direction you are riding. Place your white light in front. Find a light that is bright enough to illuminate the road ahead of you. Place a flashing red light in the back to give drivers notice that you are in the bike lane.
  • Wear reflective gear. You might not make a strong fashion statement, but you will be seen. When riding your bike at night, wear reflective gear on your body and on your helmet. This will increase the likelihood that drivers will see you and give you ample room to ride.
  • Add reflective gear to your bike. Your bike should have reflective gear too. Add reflective tape to the back of your pedals. Your foot movement will draw more attention to you in the dark, making it easier for drivers to know you are sharing the road.
  • Know your route. Stay on well-lit streets as much as possible during your ride. Plan your route before you head out so that you do not get stuck on a dark and potentially dangerous road.

Be proactive about your safety and you will minimize your risks of a bike accident. With these tips you can have a safer and more enjoyable riding experience at night.

Do you know someone who frequently rides at night? Send them this article to show them how important their safety is to you.

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