Every year, cyclists are killed in accidents caused by the drivers around them. Others survive, but only after suffering catastrophic injuries.
These crashes happen in numerous ways. Drivers turn through bike lanes. They drift off the side of the road. They text behind the wheel and strike cyclists because they’re distracted. They drive aggressively around cyclists and make unsafe passes.
One common denominator is that many of these drivers say that they did not see the cyclists until they hit them. To this end, could putting a light on your bike keep you safe?
Bike lights help in any light conditions
The first reason people often think of riding with an LED light is that they want to be able to see at dawn, at dusk or after dark. And this is very important. You are much safer riding with a bright light when visibility is limited, both because you can see better and because the drivers around you can see you. It’s wise to have lights facing both forward and backward.
Beyond that, though, many cyclists ride with these lights during the day. In the same way that driving your car with the headlights on makes you more visible even in the middle of the afternoon, a bike light increases the odds that drivers around you will see you. If a light catches their attention, it can prevent an accident.
The best lights for attracting this attention are those that blink in a strobe pattern. If you’re looking for increased sightlines yourself, after dark, you need a solid beam light. If you want drivers to see you and drive safely, you need one that flashes. Many cyclists will ride with both types of lights. After all, modern LED technology has made these lights very cheap and long-lasting on small batteries, so there’s no reason not to use them.
What if you still get hit?
Unfortunately, accidents do still happen. A light can’t prevent it, and it only reduces your odds of being hit. Nothing guarantees that you won’t. If you get injured, you may find yourself facing serious medical bills, lost wages, and a lot of other costs.