A cyclist’s guide to staying visible during the darker months

5th Oct 2020
Lisa Boyle

A cyclist’s guide to staying visible during the darker months

 

Every day, more and more people are discovering the joy and health benefits of taking up cycling.

Not only is it fun, relaxing and a fantastic challenge, it’s also soothing to the soul.

With all this in mind, it’s no surprise that the number of people taking up cycling in Scotland has risen by nearly 50 per cent in recent months.

However, it’s important to note that there are still one too many cyclists have also been left seriously or even fatally injured by a driver who claimed they ‘didn’t see’ the rider on the road.

 

Bike on Path

 

Being involved in an accident isn’t something you think about until it happens. But it’s better to be prepared now, so that you know what to do if the situation arises.

It’s vital to be as road savvy as possible – with high-visibility being one of the key aspects to being safer on Scotland’s busy roads.

Our personal injury lawyers are passionate about road safety. Here’s some of our top tips to staying visible on the roads while cycling.

 

Clothing

 

Studies suggest that reflective clothing is the answer to cyclists being seen during darkness.

Beside the obvious trend for fluorescent clothes, manufacturers are now paying more detail to reflective options instead.

Reflective items work by bouncing light back to wherever it come from, which in most cases would be a driver’s headlights.

Hi-visibility items are an obvious choice for riders who want to ‘be bright, be seen.’

The more contrast there is between your clothing and your environment, the safer you will be.

Fluorescent material on moving parts of the body, such as on the legs as opposed to the torso, also makes cyclists more distinguishable to drivers.

This means that if an accident does occur, photographic evidence of the clothing you were  wearing at the time will make it easier to argue that you were clearly visible.

 

Lights

 

According to the UK’s Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations (RVLR), it’s illegal to cycle on a public road after dark without lights and reflectors.

“At night your cycle MUST have white front and red rear lights lit,” guidance states.

Cyclists must be aware that it is illegal to have red lights facing the front of the bike, and white at the back.

While lights aren’t mandatory during daytime hours, it’s a sensible idea to have them fitted should the weather turn foggy, so that they can be turned on.

Flashing taillights as opposed to static taillights are also recommended, even during daylight, for riders to be more visible on the roads.

 

Reflectors

 

Reflectors are a cost-effective method of making your bike appear more visible.

These can be fitted onto handlebars, spokes, pedals and the seat post to allow motorists to see you better.

For more tips on staying safe on your bike during the autumn and winter bikes, check out our winter safety guide here.

 

How to know if you’re entitled to compensation

 

If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you’ve every right to pursue a claim.

To make a bike claim you must show that the other person involved was negligent, and that your injuries have resulted from this negligence.

It can, sometimes, be hard to know who is at fault in an accident. Luckily, Watermans Solicitors can take an in-depth look at the series of events that occurred before, during and after the accident, in order to determine who was at fault.

 

What to do after a cycle accident

 

  1. Receive medical attention immediately
    Even if you feel fine, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor. Some injuries, such as back and neck injuries, can take a few days to show symptoms. You could suffer a variety of injuries in a cycling accident, from minor injuries to more serious ones. These can include:

    • Collar Bone Injuries
    • Facial and Dental Injury Claims
    • Fractures
    • Whiplash Injuries
    • Concussion Injuries

Remember to keep a record and receipt of all medical attention received.

  1. Exchange details
    Take the details of the other party involved. These should include:

    • Name, address & phone number
    • Vehicle registration number
    • Insurer details

You should also give them your details.

  1. Take photos of the accident scene
    If possible take photos when the accident takes place, there are apps out there that walk you through the process and allow photos and evidence to be gathered. If you can’t do it on the day, try to return in the following days to take photos.
  2. Report the case to the police
    Contact the police. They can help if you’re having problems obtaining any contact details from the other person involve.
  3. Obtain an estimate on your cycle damage
    It’s likely that your bicycle will be written off or that your helmet and clothing have been damaged. Keep all receipts for repairs. And make sure to keep a record of any loss of earnings incurred.

 

Conclusion

 

Whenever you feel ready to start the claims process, you should ideally look into contacting an experienced solicitor, one who specialises in dealing with cycling accidents, as soon as possible. Our personal injury lawyers are experts in all types of road accidents and can give you all the advice you need.

If you’re unsure if you’re entitled to claim for compensation following a bicycle accident, contact Watermans today.