While it may be true that around 80% of cycling accidents occur in daylight, it is also true that the prospect of cycling at night fills many of us with dread. Cyclists are of course well aware that cycling on the road comes with inherent risks – cycling on the road at night heaps another set of dangers on top of that.
One of the biggest dangers when cycling at night is, unsurprisingly, other road users. Poor visibility, the glare of oncoming headlights, busy roads and bad weather conditions make it harder for motorists to spot cyclists in the dark. A lot of the time drivers simply aren’t looking out for bicycles. In over half of all collisions with cyclists, drivers admitted that they failed to look properly.
But if you’re nervous of cycling during the darker hours, fear not. There is a great range of accessories, technologies and gadgets available to make damn certain that nobody misses you on the road. We’ve selected some of the most ingenious and innovative ways to night-proof your bike. Which one is your favourite?
So you’ve forked out for a sleek roadster with a gorgeous design and paint detailing that makes you weak at the knees. The prospect of painting your beloved bicycle might not seem too inviting. But this paint is different. This is spray-on glow in the dark paint.
Not only is the paint completely invisible in daylight, but it can be sprayed on clothing and equipment too! Lasting around ten days once applied, the paint reflects light from car headlights back towards the driver. Become a gleaming phosphorescent beacon whenever cars draw near. What’s more, it’s easy to wash off too, in case you’d rather not take your luminous rucksack with you on a weekend away.
Apart from making you next to impossible to miss on the road, these badboys also have the added bonus of making you look like you’ve just escaped from Tron.
The lights consist of four activating pods, which power the light stripes attached to the inside of the wheel rims. This creates one continuous ring of light emitting from your wheels. Lighting your bike this way means that you’re more visible from the side, when most front and back lights wouldn’t be obvious.
If you’re a frequent cyclist, the chances are a motorist before will have overtaken you before only to force you to brake and slow down once they’re in front of you. Many drivers will automatically overtake cyclists as they assume you’re moving slower than they are, when often this isn’t the case.
Prevent hasty overtaking with a rear LED light that displays your speed. Not only does the speed light work to prevent unnecessary and potentially dangerous overtaking, but it also makes other road users more aware of how fast they are traveling, and doubles as a brake light when the cyclist slows rapidly.