Are illuminated bike signals worth the investment?

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2023 | Bicycle tips |

Cyclists in California often view biking as a low-cost form of exercise and transportation, but it can quickly become a costly hobby. Although individual bicycles are available for purchase used from resale shops or garage sales for a fraction of their retail value people may opt to buy brand-new carbon-frame bicycles with four-figure price tags for a variety of reasons.

Cyclists also have many options for enhancing and accessorizing their bicycle after making an initial purchase. People may spend hundreds on riding gear, including clothing intended to prevent road rash and aerodynamic helmets. One of the more popular additions that people invest in to make cycling safer in the Los Angeles area is an illuminated signal system that people can add to their bikes. Are such purchases a worthwhile investment for safety-minded California cyclists?

Yes, illuminated signals can be a good addition

There is technically no need for visual signals on the bicycle itself, as California law requires manual signals from cyclists on the road. The use of someone’s arm to indicate a turn or an intention to stop can communicate with others in traffic very effectively, should they pay attention to and remain aware of the meaning behind those signals.

However, there are benefits to adding an aftermarket turn signal system to a bicycle. Those benefits include less time with a cyclist’s hand off of the handlebars, as it takes much less time to flick a signal on and off than it does to hold an arm out to indicate a turn as someone approaches an intersection. Additionally, illuminated gear tends to draw attention, which can help reduce a cyclist’s risk on the road. Many bicycle crashes occur because motorists simply fail to notice bicycles in traffic.

Illuminated turn signals and brake signals can be more eye-catching than physical maneuvers and can be particularly beneficial for those who frequently bike during transitional times or after the sun has set for the day. As with many other kinds of safety gear, the decision about whether or not to invest in an illuminated turn signal system for a bicycle falls to the cyclist. Understanding the potential traffic safety benefits of such an investment might inspire some cyclists to invest in aftermarket systems that could enhance their safety in traffic.