Updated: Aug 16, 2021
By Albus Du
Many different people bike for many different reasons, the primary reason I bike is to get places. Sometimes though, I need to go somewhere, but it is dark out. How do I bike safely? Well it boils down to two main things. How to keep people from running you over with their cars, and how to see where you are going.
How to Be Seen
To avoid getting hit, it is best to be seen. Most drivers will try not to hit a cyclist if they see you, (although there are some psychos out there). There are no style points when trying not to die. Tacky, highlighter yellow vests with reflective strips are eye-catching and scream out “HEY! DON’T RUN INTO ME!” so they are a good piece of gear to have when biking in the dark. In addition, having a blinking tail light is a good idea. You are supposed to be biking on the same side of the road as the traffic, so cars are most likely to see you from behind. Bright clothing, in combination with flashing lights, is eye-catching and thus can significantly decrease your chances of getting hit by a car.
How to See Where You Are Going
This one is simple. If you need to see where you are going, and it is dark, add some light. The premier choice is of course a bike light. These are lights specifically designed to clip onto your bike so that you can see in the dark. They are easy to assemble and use, and they are typically very bright. Try to buy from a reputable brand, since you are kind of trusting your life to this light.
All this being said, the safest way to bike at night, is to not bike at night. There are dozens, if not hundreds of ways biking at night is more dangerous than biking during the day. It’s darker, being the primary one. This reduces your visibility and the visibility of drivers. There are more drunk drivers out there who will be less likely to see you or care if they do. There are fewer bystanders to help if you do get into a sticky situation. No matter what precautions you take, biking at night will be more dangerous than biking during the day, but I hope this guide can help keep you safe.