Do you cycle with lights during the day? How about at night? Do you think you should?
If you’re on the fence or think it’s okay to ride short distances at night without them, then this is the page for you.
Here are 5 reasons why you should always ride your bike with lights, regardless whether it’s day or night time.
1. RESPONSIBLY RIDING
It never hurts to take the initiative while on the road and having lights during the day is a good way to express that.
Much like newer cars have adopted daytime running lights, bikes can too. The more visible you are, the more likely drivers are to see you. At night, lights are a lifesaver especially if you ride wearing darker kit.
It is essential that you are seen as far away as possible so the driver has plenty of time to anticipate the overtake and hopefully pass you safely. Follow the law, be safe and make efforts to help drivers see you and they treat you with more respect.
2. TO SEE
If you ride at night, you need a good set of bright lights to see where you’re going. You need to see upcoming hazards, road furniture, depressed drain covers, debris, pedestrians and all the usual hazards we have to contend with on the road.
This is especially true in cities or on routes you don’t know like the back of your hand. You need time to anticipate hazards so you can maintain pace and ride predictably around other road users.
3. TO BE SEEN
If other road users are to pass you safely, they need to know you’re there.
Either during the day or at night, being seen helps you be safe. At night, lights are the only way other road users will be able to see you until they are close.
The further back they can see you, the safer for everyone. Even if you’re wearing reflective gear or bright kit, you need lights to be seen at any distance.
4. BE PREPARED FOR CHANGING CONDITIONS
If you live somewhere with changeable conditions, using, or at least having lights with you during the day can make sense. In areas where it can quickly get dark, foggy or cloudy during the day or otherwise make seeing you difficult, it makes sense to use lights.
Even on the sunniest of days, some areas of the world are changeable and can switch from cloudless skies one minute to deep fog or dark storm clouds the next. If we know there’s a chance for rain mid-ride, we will most likely bring a rain jacket along. The same goes for bike lights.
Having lights with you at all times makes perfect sense. Being prepared is all part of being a cyclist and this time it’s about safety and not just looking good or having the right kit for the conditions.
5. IT'S REQUIRED BY LAW
In most counties of the world, it is against the law to ride in the dark without lights. While the exact wording of the regulations may differ by region, the usual guidelines are using a white light at the front and a red light at the rear.
In the US, a centrally located white light must be displayed on the front at all times after dark. A single red rear light is also required to be fitted to any bike being ridden after dark. It should also be positioned centrally and be pointing to the rear.