Bicycles are a popular mode of transportation and form of exercise. As the season turns warmer, they can become nearly ubiquitous on the roads. While some streets do have bike paths, others require that bicyclists share the road with motor vehicles. Riding in close proximity to a vehicle many times larger and heavier than your bike puts you at a disadvantage in the event of a crash.
As such, making every effort to reduce your risk of a crash can help keep you safer and protect the people who depend on you. After all, if something happens to you, your family members and loved ones will have to worry about your medical care and find ways to cover your lost wages.
Given the risks involved, you probably want to do everything in your power to avoid a bicycle crash with a motor vehicle.
Certain times of day are more dangerous than others
If you had to pick the most dangerous time of day to be on a bike, you would probably pick nighttime. People in motor vehicles often struggle with noticing bicyclists even in the bright light of day. At nighttime, that visibility is even more of an issue.
However, many avid cyclists have both reflectors and lights on their bike that could make them more visible at night then they seem to be to drivers during the day. Statistically, the most dangerous time to be on the road is between 6 and 9 in the afternoon/evening. Additionally, the time just before and after sunrise and sunset are often when drivers have reduced visibility, which could increase your risk as well.
The people in vehicles probably aren’t going to see you
As a cyclist, you have the same legal obligation to comply with the rules of the road as the people in larger motor vehicles. Still, you will be the one who pays the price if someone else fails to look for you or otherwise drives in an irresponsible manner.
When switching lanes, proceeding through an intersection or making a turn, it is generally in your best interest to assume that other drivers nearby aren’t looking at you. Many cyclists take an extra second to pause. If someone would have to apply their brakes in order for you to make the maneuver safely, it might be better to wait for them to proceed before you complete your maneuver. While driving has become safer, cyclists have experienced increased fatalities in recent years.