No lights on your bike? You crazy.
Updated: May 6
Quite often I hear from customers they want X, Y, Z item to be 'high viz', meaning high visibility. The thinking (I'm guessing) is that a 'high viz' helmet or even the bicycle itself will help you be seen on the road and keep you safe.
Maybe? I guess?
In life there is no such thing as guaranteed safety. And just like driving a car, no one thing will keep you safe it is the combination of many factors (not the least of which is following the rules of the road!). Think about this: what colour is your car? Neon/high viz yellow? I didn't so.
And just like in your car, one of the best and most effective things you can do to help be visible to others is ensure your lights are on.
Don't have lights on your bike? I think you're crazy not to.
Just like day-time running lights on your car, a front and rear light on your bicycle help you be seen. This Danish study showed "use of permanent bicycle running lights reduces the occurrence of multiparty accidents involving cyclists significantly."
With options ranging from 5 to 1500 lumens, there are lights for every bicycle and every budget. We all wear (and buy) helmets to help protect us should we have an accident, but what about doing something to help prevent the accident itself? Lights my friends. Lights are the answer.
This is a fantastic video showing exactly what I've been talking about here.
P.S The only colour that has any real effect is red.
Want to read more about safe cycling? Bicycling Magazine has a great article on The Science of Being Seen. Road.CC has a great article on cyclists using daytime running lights and profiles some of the best options available today.