British summertime ends in October – the clocks go back by an hour and many of us may be travelling home in the dark.
However you get to work or school, there are things you can do to help yourself be seen, making sure other road users can see you.
Whether walking to and from school, the shops, or walking the dog, during foggy and overcast days pedestrians should wear something bright coloured and something reflective at night. Choose a bag or rucksack with hi-visibility strips. Fluorescent and reflective armbands can be worn over coats and clothing, and stickers can be used on bags. Reflective dots on knees and ankles can really draw attention to runners during dark nights.
Keep to the footpath where there is one, if not, keep to the right hand side of the road so you can see oncoming traffic. Being aware of your surroundings can help as well, so take out the earphones, and leave your phone in your pocket.
Many people riding bikes at night assume that street lights are enough for a motorist to see them, as they can see themselves. This is not the case and many incidents involving bicycles during the dark nights are due to cyclists in dark clothing with no lights or reflectors. Drivers are looking for lights, so when a cyclist appears with no lights, it comes as a surprise.
At night, your bike MUST have white front and red rear lights lit, it must also be fitted with a red rear reflector. White front reflectors can also help you to be seen, and spoke reflectors will help other road users see you from the side.
Other things like reflective tape and flashing valve caps are also available. Any part that is moving, such as knees and ankles and valves, and is either reflective or illuminated, draws drivers’ attention to you quite well.
Wear bright and if possible reflective clothing and still always believe that the driver has not seen you.
Here are some useful links to consider and how you can get involved.