Bike commuting and outdoor activities have just gotten a lot more dangerous in the evening. What’s the cause? Daylight saving ended on Sunday (11/5/2017), setting clocks back an hour.
So as I pushed off this Monday morning and swung my leg over my Trek 400, I noticed the new light that illuminated my 3.7 mile commute. The dawn twilight was a welcome sight that energized me more than the ride itself. The joy of the new light quickly brought home thoughts of the darkness that will be waiting for me and all bike commuters during our evening commute. As I sat pedaling and pondering like most mornings, I wondered to myself how many more bike related accidents occur because of the “hour fall back”.
“Advocates of perpetual DST have some statistics on their side. Adding an hour of sunlight in the evening year-round would save the lives of more than 170 pedestrians annually, according to a 2004 study in Accident Analysis and Prevention. The lives of nearly 200 vehicle occupants would also theoretically be saved by the change.”
Most bike commuters, not all, leave early enough to be able to take a shower and change, thus missing a good portion of the crazy car commuters who are rushing to work. However, in the evening… come five, six o’clock, there are triple, quadruple the amount of cars on the streets rushing home to sit on their couch to watch Dancing with the Stars.
So if you do plan on biking home in the dark make sure you have multiple front and rear lights. I always ride with two white lights up front, one white light on my bottom chain stay pointing to the ground, and two rear lights on my seat post. I think it is very important to have some sort of light or reflective material on all sides of your bike. Goodbye to the days of just using one front and rear light. You should be glowing like a UFO. Drivers’ reactions should be “What is that?”, instead of “Oh, Shit!”.
Stay safe out there, always ride with lights.
Featured Image Credit: BrooksEngland.com