Every now and then I stumble upon some road safety data for cyclists and it does look grim when you see figures like 18,477 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents in 2016 on UK roads alone. And that's only reported accidents with injuries, but it doesn't have to be that way, so let's talk road safety and lights.
The most dangerous time on the road is between 8am to 9am and 3pm to 6pm, so yes, we are talking about you, a regular cyclist going to and from work casually. The most dangerous place apparently is around junctions, T junctions and especially roundabouts. Almost two-thirds of accidents occur in these locations so no matter how often you take the same route, keep your eyes open.
Most or nearly 80% of all accidents occur during the daylight but the ones during the night seem to be more serious and this is the statistic we would want to talk about a little more.
When I was in my 20s, I generally thought cycling lights are something of a waste. That was until I sat behind the wheel myself and noticed how hard it is to see a cyclist without lights during the night, however it is a common knowledge it is best to use the lights at all times as it significantly attracts an attention to you even at daylight hours and especially in bad weather or just standard British Summer. The more visible you are, the least likely you are to get injured.
With most accidents (about 75%) happening in urban areas, I think, it is especially important for all daily commuters to address the safety issue seriously. We can, of course, blame the drivers, cabs or local council but it is important to take the matter into your own hands and start improving your road safety yourself. It is your health and if there is a simple way to protect yourself, you should do it right away. Cycling lights are the most basic and most essential piece of equipment any cyclist, no matter on age or location should definitely have and use.
So should you keep your lights on during the day? Definitely yes. In some European countries, it is mandatory to keep the daylight driving lights on when driving a car, so why would a bicycle be an exception?
Spring is the time when we see a steep rise of cyclists on our roads and this is exactly why this April in collaboration with State Bicycle Co. we are giving a free set of lights with every State bike.
It is no a secret most of our customers are in their 20s and early 30s which is by far, at least statistically, the age group most affected and least likely seriously considering their risk, so we really hope free lights will raise some awareness. Keep your lights on!
Data source: The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, road safety fact sheet for cycling accidents 2017
Title image: Florian Maderebner