By Peter Ebro, GripGrab
The risk of accidents is larger for cyclists than for any other traffic group, and low visibility of cyclists can play a major factor in this. In this guide we'll go over some advice on how to stay visible and safe when riding in low light conditions.
Night riding isn't the only time you need to be concerned about how visible you are. The riskiest times of day are actually dawn and dusk; when the sun is low on the horizon your lights and the reflective details on your bike and clothing are not very visible to other road users. To stay safe, you have to stand out in another way.
A key way to increase visibility is to contrast to your surroundings and to create a sense of motion to spur recognition.
In 2004, a meta-review* of studies showed drivers saw fluorescent colours faster, more consistently, and from a greater distance than standard colors. The risk of accidents between cyclists and cars is reduced by almost 50 percent if the cyclist wears a fluorescent cycling jacket.**
Fluorescent material is visible in low light conditions because it reflects the non-visible ultraviolet light back into the visible spectrum. Fluorescent colours reflect as much as 200 percent to 300 percent of a colour in the spectrum, whereas standard colours can only reflect around 90 percent.
The Hi-Vis series from GripGrab is designed to make you be seen in any lighting condition!
Fluorescent material is most effective when worn on moving body parts. Hi-Vis shoe covers, socks, and leg warmers are very effective, as they move up and down with the pedal stroke to draw attention.
Hi-Vis gloves and arm warmers improve visibility from the front in the usual cyclist´s riding position. They will also improve the visibility of your hand signals when turning or stopping.
Keep in mind that fluorescent colours don’t help at night when there's no other light; clothing in flourescent colours are just as invisible as a black jacket when it's pitch dark.
This means, that at night, you must wear both reflectors and lights on your bike to stay visible.
Use bright lights on your bike; don’t only rely on the smallest models that just barely meet the legal requirements. Prioritize lights with different modes so you can switch between different them depending on your needs.
It’s recommended to use a blinking rear light because it will draw more attention than a constant light. The same applies to the front light, but if you need to be able to see where you're riding, it’s nice to have a good, bright beam that can light up the road in front of you.
Denmark is well-known as the land of frequent commuters. Almost 50 percent of the population rides their bike several times a week. But when commuting in the Danish winter time, with very few hours of the day with daylight, you need to focus on the visibility on the bike. At GripGrab, we frequently commute to work. That’s the reason why we have a special focus on making products that are extra visible so we can stay safe and comfortable.
And for us at GripGrab, the fluorescent Hi-Vis colours aren’t just for safety anymore — we think that they have a stylish appeal that looks good!
Hi-Vis is the new black!
* Visibility aids for pedestrians and cyclists: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15003574
**Lahrmann, Harry et al. (2014): Projekt Cykeljakken - Den sikkerhedsmæssige effekt af en gul cykeljakke; Trafikforskningsgruppen, DCE 167, Aalborg Universitet, Aalborg, Denmark.
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