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Email:suffolkroadsafe@suffolk.gov.uk

Be visible

Dark mornings, dark afternoons, and dull overcast days: it's time to make sure we can all be seen as we use the road.

There are some simple things that drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians can do to help them stay safe.

Drivers

In the morning, as other road users may have poorly cleared their steamed up windscreens, put your lights on so that they can see you. They should have cleared their windscreen properly, but being more visible helps you to stay safe.   In the grey twilight, dark cars really blend into the background. Once again, pop your lights on.

In fact, anytime that visibility is reduced by rain, light levels, anything: pop your lights on!

Cyclists

Recent Danish research* has found that wearing hi-vis clothing reduces collisions by 55%.  You still need to ride in a way that keeps you safe, but being extra visible is a very good idea.  At night, hi-viz yellow orange doesn't work, sut reflective strips (usually grey) shine out white in vehicle headlights. 

Be aware that a rucksack will obscure your jacket at the back. You might want to consider buying a ruck sackcover or a reflective rucksack.

It is a legal requirement to have a red rear reflector, and that it isn't covered by paniers. Whether legal or not, having red reflectors gives drivers information about the presence of a cyclist, and tells them in which direction the cyclist is riding. 

In low light and darkness it is a legal requirement, and a safety necessity, that bikes should have functioning front (white) and rear (red) lights. You might wear one on your helmet, but put them on your bike too - and make sure your coat/back/front basket doesn't obscure them. Having a flashing light AND a static light is really useful, but try to ensure that you don't blind motorists. It may make them unable to spot other cyclists whilst they are distracted by your bright light.

Remember that drivers make decisions based on what they can see, and if they don't see you they can't avoid you.

Do everything you can to help them to see you, and keep yourself safe.

Pedestrians

If, like me, you tend to wear dark clothing, drivers are unlikely to see you clearly in the dark or the twilight.  Obviously you could carry a torch, or a white bag, which would help, but in the main you will need to ensure that you keep yourself safe whist crossing the road.   

Pause your M3 player before you get to the road edge, as some modern cars - and all cycles - are almost impossible to hear, and ensure that you have looked  properly before you walk on the roadway. 

Many dog owners put flashing collars on their pets, which really helps to highlight both pet and owner. 

 

*Research article available here, or linked on the right hand side of this page.