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How to Stay Visible at Night

Posted by Luke Bowen on

cyclist at night

Alternate commuting methods like biking, walking, and carpooling are gaining in popularity these days, and for good reasons too; commuters choose to go with these types of transportation for the extra exercise, for environmental consciousness, and sometimes just for the plain, old convenience. Unfortunately, these activities are not without their flaws, one of the biggest being the lack of visibility at night. Nighttime safety is a big concern for pedestrians and cyclers alike, but it shouldn’t stop you from choosing these eco-friendly (and health- friendly) options. Follow these tips for nighttime visibility to find out how you can stay safe on the road—even in the dark.

Wear Bright Colors

Black might make your figure look svelte, but it’s not the smartest color choice if you know you’re going to be walking or biking home in the dark. When it comes to choosing your wardrobe for nighttime safety, brighter is better. Neon works great, as it also makes you pop out from the colors of the road and any surrounding greenery.

Add Reflective Materials

Reflective strips are a good way to remind drivers that they’re sharing the road with others. And while reflective night vests might not scream fashionable or chic, they do provide excellent nighttime visibility. They’re very affordable too. Visibility Safety Vests can be ordered online for around $7. Cyclers should invest in additional reflective strips as well. Even though most bikes come equipped with reflectors, we’d recommend that cyclers add reflective material to their helmets and backpacks. Or wear apparel where lighting is already integrated into it. See these light up t-shirts for example.

Add Lights

Bright colors and reflective materials work great when there’s light from street lamps or headlights, but nothing beats the reliability of having personal lighting. Nighttime cyclers should purchase at least two LED lights: one to serve as the headlight, and the other to be the taillight. It’s also a good idea to keep an extra light in your person in case one of those goes out. Also, commuter lights aren’t just for bikers. Pedestrians can wear headlamps or even vests with built-in lighting.

Minimize Distractions

Even though nighttime visibility is all about making sure drivers notice you, it’s also important to make sure that you’re aware of your own surroundings. It can be tempting to put in some earbuds and blast some music, but doing so can distract you from approaching cars. When it comes down to it, that new album can wait; safety should always be the number one priority.

Travel in Groups

A small group of people will be spotted much more quickly than a lone individual— but be careful to not walk in a horizontal row and end up being the one in the road! Beyond just visibility, traveling in groups is just about the best practice there is for nighttime safety. Walking and biking at night can be dangerous, but you can minimize the risk with the right gear, the right attitude, and of course, the right friends.

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