Sometimes bicyclists get up early to ride before traffic gets busy. Other times people ride their bikes late at night. When riding at dawn, dusk, or in the dark, cyclists need to have the proper amount of lights on their bikes to ensure drivers will see them. Sadly, many bicycle accidents on U.S. 41 and other roads in the Sarasota area have occurred because drivers did not spot cyclists until it was too late.

In the majority of cases, bicycle accidents occur because of drivers’ negligent actions, such as:

  • Failing to look out for cyclists
  • Driving with poor eyesight
  • Driving distracted (i.e., texting while driving)
  • Driving impaired
  • Not giving a bicyclist enough room when passing

While most crashes between cars and bicycles occur due to the negligence of drivers of motor vehicles, some wrecks have happened because bicyclists failed to make sure their bikes had ample lighting. When bicycles don’t have appropriate headlights, side lights, and rear lights, drivers of motor vehicles won’t be able to spot cyclists from all the different angles.

Being Visible

Although most bikes come with reflectors, reflectors aren’t enough to make cyclists noticeable to other motorists during dawn or dusk. In order to reduce bicycle crash risks, riders need to follow the Florida laws in place and equip their bikes with sufficient lighting to make sure they are visible to drivers of moving motor vehicles. In fact, it is critical that bikes are equipped with the following lights:

  • Front lights – There are many different types of lights; however, high density lights have a higher beam of light to help make a bicyclist visible on the road.
  • Rear lights – There are high-output rear lights such as LED—light-emitting diodes—that tend to help other motorists see cyclists better.
  • Side lights – There are lights for bicycles that have side emitters, allowing drivers to spot bicycles from the side.

When cyclists make sure they can be spotted by drivers who approach from the front, side, or rear, they will be safer and reduce their chances of being in bicycle accidents during the early or late hours when the lighting makes it difficult for drivers to see bicycles on the road.

Please share this information with other cyclists and people you may know on Facebook to help them realize the importance of lighting their bikes up.

Damian Mallard, Esq.
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Board Certified Sarasota Personal Injury Attorney