You may know that the early morning hours and early evening are both times when there is a risk that you could be riding your bike home in the dark. The sun might just be coming up or setting, making it light enough to see but not light enough to see very clearly.
It’s already known that dawn and dusk are times when people are at a higher risk of getting hit by a car. In fact, in Memphis, Tennessee, it was found that walkers were around five times less likely to die in a daytime crash compared to one at night.
You would think that California would have taken care of this issue, but the reality is that it has not. Despite the fact that dawn and dusk are dark enough to make it harder to see, drivers aren’t required to have their headlights on until 30 minute after dusk or 30 minutes before sunrise. The caveat is that drivers are supposed to use their headlights if they can’t see more than 1,000 feet in front of them, but that distance is still plenty of space to end up hitting a cyclist.
These rules mean that drivers could be on the roads without using their lights at all, even though it’s totally dark outside. That in itself is a significant risk to you and other riders.
Dawn and dusk pose a threat to cyclists
It’s for these reasons and others that dawn and dusk are so dangerous for cyclists.
Changing the laws could be a good option that would allow cyclists to stay safer. Making drivers use daylights and headlights throughout the day and night makes sense and is an easy change to help improve visibility.
That’s not a requirement yet, so as a cyclist, it’s a good choice to think about riding in the daytime hours. If you have to ride in the evening, using reflectors and your own lighting could help you stand out when visibility is low.
Regardless of the time of day, if you’re hit and involved in a bicycle accident, you have a right to seek compensation. You don’t deserve to face the consequences of someone’s negligent actions.