Don’t Die: Make Yourself Visible Wherever You Ride
This article was written by the Outreach Team at Personal Injury Help, an organization dedicated to providing information about personal injury cases. To learn more, you can visit them at www.personalinjury-law.com or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
More people are riding bicycles these days because it is healthy, environmentally friendly, and a very economical way to get around. However, not everyone rides a bike to commute to and from work. There are many kinds of bicyclists out there, ranging from recreational cyclists to commuters to competitors. Regardless of which kind of cyclist you are, you need to know how to make yourself more visible and less likely to fall victim to a crash.
Remember, it is your responsibility to make yourself be seen and not assume that the drivers are going to see you as you head off down the road. Vision is a complicated process, and while accidents are often chalked up to human error, the truth is the brain and the eyes work in a way that people are sometimes fooled and don’t notice something as small and vertical as a bicycle or a motorcycle. If all cyclists look the same, it makes seeing them even more difficult so make sure you do what you can to make yourself noticed.
Different Kinds of Cyclists
A group of researchers at McGill University in Montreal has determined there are four kinds of cyclists, which they call dedicated cyclists, fairweather utilitarians, leisure cyclists, and path-using cyclists. The research was initially done to help urban planners, policy makers, and transportation engineers with their planning so new transit demands, which involve cyclists, will be properly met.
However, this can also be beneficial in determining how different cyclists ride and how your particular approach can impact what you need to do to make yourself more visible when riding. Making yourself more visible so you can be seen by drivers is essential when it comes to safety when riding. Regardless of whether you ride daily or you ride once or twice a month, you need to know how to make yourself safe.
If you are one of the 36% of cyclists who is referred to as a path-using cyclists, you are motivated by the fun of riding and how convenient it is to ride your bike. You prefer riding a continuous route, such as a bicycle path or trail rather than dodging the cars out on the road. You ride for fitness and you were encouraged to bike to get where you need to go because of its economical approach.
If you are a path-using cyclists, you are a recreational rider. This means that you aren’t always going to be riding, but when you do you try to avoid the traffic. You should still wear bright colors so you are seen as you cross roadways. Brightly colored vests, shirts, or jackets and a bright helmet will help you be noticed.
If you are a dedicated cyclist, you enjoy riding in traffic and you usually use your bike to commute to and from work or wherever you need to go. The weather doesn’t stop you. You still bike anyway. You like the identity of being a dedicated biker. This means you are going to be in traffic and you are used to the daily grind of facing off with vehicles.
Make sure drivers see you by wearing a safety vest and bright helmet. Make sure you have a white headlight and red taillight and plenty of reflectors on your bike. Place reflectors on the pedals, fenders, and the spokes. Also put reflective tape on your clothing and helmet for visibility after dark.
Just as it implies, you ride just for fun. You don’t want to deal with traffic because you want to feel safe. You prefer bike paths that are away from cars. You should still wear brightly colored clothing and have the proper headlight, taillight, and reflectors on your bike so you are noticed by other cyclists. Remember, regardless of where you are riding you need to be visible.
Just as the name implies, you like to ride your bike in good weather. If it is raining or snowing, you are going to take another form of transportation. You still need to make yourself seen on those beautiful days. As stressed before, you should always wear bright colors, a helmet, and have the proper lighting and reflectors on your bike for trips taken after dark.
Regardless of when and where you ride, make yourself noticeable by wearing the appropriate gear to make you visible and by equipping your bike for riding after dark.