By Pendergast Law on August 26, 2016
According to a study conducted by the Transportation Data Office, the majority of bicycle accidents occur in the evening between the hours of 6pm and 9pm. Many of these accidents occur in winter months, where daylight savings time and an earlier-setting sun bring darkness earlier in the day. Due to visibility issues that arise at dusk and continue through the dark evening hours and with the increasing number of bicycle accidents occurring due to negligent drivers, many have begun to wonder whether it is safe to ride your bike in the evening.
At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., we work with countless Seattle families who are suffering because a loved one was injured or even killed by a careless driver. In most of the situations, the accident was entirely preventable by the driver. Had the driver exercised reasonable care while driving, the accident would have been avoided. With that said, Seattle is one of the safest communities in the United States for cyclists. The city has dedicated miles of roadway to bike lanes and paths, and more residents each year are foregoing their cars in order to bike to work and school. As such, we don’t believe that our fellow residents should be prevented from riding their bikes in the evening. Rather, we recommend that everyone adhere to common sense safety rules in order to reduce the risk of an accident and increase nighttime visibility.
Safety Guidelines for Nighttime Bike Riding
- Wear bright, reflective clothing. One common issue with visibility is that drivers do not see a cyclist until it is too late because the cyclist was wearing dark clothing. Bright clothing such as neon’s or whites will stand out in the darkness. In addition, reflective pieces on the clothing will reflect in a driver’s headlights.
- Use lights on the front, back, and side of your bicycle. Your bicycle should be equipped with a headlight on the front. This will help you see at nighttime and will also help drivers in front of you to realize that a cyclist is behind them. In addition, install a light on the rear of your bicycle so that approaching drivers can see you and better judge the distance between you and their cars. Furthermore, install reflective lights on your wheels. That way, drivers approaching you perpendicularly will be able to see you even if they can’t see the lights on the front and back of your bike.
- Wear a helmet. A helmet can mean the difference between life or death and has been proven to reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries.
Protect Your Loved Ones with Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
If you or a loved one was injured in a nighttime bicycle accident in Seattle, do not hesitate to contact the knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. Call us today to schedule a free case evaluation at 888-539-9211.