One in five accidents with cyclists in Germany happens in the dark
Visibility Means Safety
Almost one in five accidents involving cyclists in Germany happens in twilight or dark conditions. Cyclists should therefore make sure to be visible, say DEKRA accident researchers.
- Cyclists are spotted more easily with retroreflective elements
- Switch on lights in time when dusk sets in
“One often forgets about the fact that car drivers are often blinded by the lights from oncoming vehicles. Add to that the diversion by a variety of light sources, as well as reflections on wet street surfaces. An ill-lighted cyclist offers little contrast in these conditions and is hard to see”, says the accident researcher. “To be in traffic on an unlighted bike after dark is extremely careless and almost suicidal.”
Another safety factor on a bicycle is eye-catching, high-contrast clothing with retroreflective elements. As easy as it is effective, cyclists can put on high-visibility vests known as a car accessory and safety feature in the building industry. Cycling clothes are being offered in a wide selection with big retroreflective areas, for example in fluorescent orange or yellow. Clothes like these, as well as bright-colored shoes stand out in a car’s headlights from a distance. “Eye-catching clothing and good lighting in the dark are half a life insurance for cyclists”, says accident researcher Ancona.
For the headlight, a strong bright LED lamp is recommended. It can be seen from a great distance and lights the road well. Modern systems also offer additional features like daytime running light and upper beam lighting. To avoid blinding others, the LED lamp should not be positioned too high. This can easily be checked against a wall or garage door.