Most studies over the past several years have found that biking at night poses the greatest risk to cyclists in terms of injury or death. Aside from the visibility issue, the increased prevalence of drunk or drugged driving at night may lead to bicycle accidents.
Bicycles are much smaller than motor vehicles, which makes them more difficult for drivers to see anyway, and when it’s dark, it is even harder for drivers to see them. As a result, it is essential to take precautions to avoid this danger. Bicyclists can make themselves more visible at night by having both front and back lights on their bicycles, placing reflectors on the rear of the bike, and wearing clothing and shoes with reflective tape on them. Some bicycle helmets come equipped with lights, as well.
In reality, a cyclist must use lights or reflectors when riding at night, as California Vehicle Code 21201(d) states:
(d) A bicycle operated during darkness upon a highway, a sidewalk where bicycle operation is not prohibited by the local jurisdiction, or a bikeway, as defined in Section 890.4 of the Streets and Highways Code, shall be equipped with all of the following:
- A lamp emitting a white light that, while the bicycle is in motion, illuminates the highway, sidewalk, or bikeway in front of the bicyclist and is visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle.
- A red reflector or a solid or flashing red light with a built-in reflector on the rear that shall be visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle.
- A white or yellow reflector on each pedal, shoe, or ankle visible from the front and rear of the bicycle from a distance of 200 feet.
- A white or yellow reflector on each side forward of the center of the bicycle, and a white or red reflector on each side to the rear of the center of the bicycle, except that bicycles that are equipped with reflectorized tires on the front and the rear need not be equipped with these side reflectors.
Biking at night also increases the chance of being mugged or otherwise becoming a crime victim. It is best to avoid remote areas where you could be attacked without anyone hearing you, as well as heavily wooded bike trails that are not typically traveled by many at night. In short, if you wouldn’t walk in a certain location at night by yourself, you probably shouldn’t bike alone in that location, either.
Bicyclists also may have difficulty seeing road hazards that would be more apparent during daylight hours. Potholes, uneven pavement, and bumps in the road can be hard to spot, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the route. At night, it is likely to be safer to stick to trails and roads that you are accustomed to traveling.
When you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you need an attorney who knows bike laws and can stand up for your interests from the outset of your personal injury claim. It is our goal to evaluate the facts, assess your claim, explore your options, and help you build the strongest claim for compensation possible against those who are responsible for the accident that led to your injuries. Do not hesitate to contact Bonnici Law Group at 619-259-5199 today and set up an appointment to speak with us soon. 00000000