With the sun rising earlier and setting later during the winter months, as this is the time of year where road safety and awareness needs to be at the forefront of anyone using the roads. Whether you drive a car or ride a bike, everyone using the roads during winter should take extra precautions to prevent accidents, especially in icy cold weather where surfaces may be slippery. However, while increasing visibility when riding in the dark is an obvious recommendation, ensuring that you’re visible during the day in low light conditions is just as important as well.
Moreover, cyclists are generally more at risk than motorists, since they’re directly exposed to these harsh conditions and have much less protection than those in vehicles. As such, all cyclists should adopt a more sensible approach when it comes to increasing their visibility on the road, which can be done in several ways.
Despite the low aesthetic appeal of hi viz clothing, this is one of best possible ways to heighten visibility while out on the road. However, irrespective of how unattractive you may feel that hi viz wear is, it’s not exactly like you’re making a fashion statement either. In relative terms, you could compare it to a work uniform – no one’s going to want to wear it, but it’s a necessity. The only difference is that hi viz isn’t a mandatory requirement when you hop on your bike, but it could prove to be the difference between a calamitous ride and a safe one.
As a cyclist, you shouldn’t look to take any chances, which is why hi viz clothing is so highly recommended for winter riding. With bright colours and reflective patches, you’ll be giving motorists a clear view that you’re easily identifiable as a cyclist out on the road. So whether you prefer to wear a jacket, gilet, or simply just add some reflective stickers to your regular cycling wear, it’s imperative to make sure that you’re wearing some form of hi viz clothing when riding.
While bike lights are essential for seeing where you’re going in poorly lit conditions, they’ll also dramatically improve your visibility on the road. By mounting a front and rear bike light to your handlebars and seat post, you’ll ensure that any motorists in front or behind you are able to clearly see where you are.
When looking to buy bike lights for your bike, you should look to buy a set of bike lights with the highest number of lumens that your budget can afford – the higher the lumens, the “brighter” the bike light appears. Not only that, but you should also look to invest in a set of bike lights that has a number of different settings – pertaining to how the light delivers its luminosity – so you can use a flashing setting to indicate you’re a cyclist and not a motorist. Additionally, you should make sure that your rear bike light isn’t being obstructed by a rear mudguard so that vehicles behind you can clearly see you from afar.
Another useful way to improve your visibility on the road is through the use of reflectors. As already mentioned, reflective stickers are a sensible option for your clothing, but they can also be effective when placed on your bike frame too. Additionally, there are many other products that can substantially increase your visibility too, such as illuminous spoke and pannier reflectors.
Generally speaking, bike locks aren’t the most typical inclusion on this list. However, given emerging innovations in the market such as Litelok, bike locks are fast-becoming an effective method of increasing your visibility on the road – as well as helping to prevent your bike from being stolen too that is! As a lightweight, flexible and secure bike lock, Likelok’s range of products are also fluorescent in colour to offer cyclists a revolutionary way of securing their bikes.
Other accessories that cyclists can benefit from when looking to increase their visibility on the road include reflection via helmets, gloves and shoes. Another great way of ensuring you’re seen on the road by motorists is through a brightly coloured rucksack with reflective strips or a hi viz bag cover, which will also keep your rucksack dry too.
In short, as a cyclist, you should do all you can to ensure that you’re making yourself as safe and as clearly visible as possible to everyone on the road. Whether you choose to wear an assortment of hi viz clothing or simply plaster your frame in reflective strips, be sensible and aware when riding at all times without taking any chances.