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A Bicyclist’s Guide to Safe Nighttime Riding

Published on April 20th, 2013

For many Chicago-area commuters, riding your bike in the early morning hours, at dusk, or at night is simply impossible to avoid. Unfortunately, most bicycle accidents take place during these busy times. You can protect yourself from personal injury with these proactive guidelines for safe nighttime riding:

Protect Yourself

Many biking accidents result from unsafe practices such as not wearing a helmet, riding into a street without stopping, or turning left into traffic. To protect yourself, always follow the rules of the road. Stick to sidewalks when they are available, and always ride against traffic. Finally, wear a helmet whenever you ride to protect yourself from serious personal injury if you are in an accident with a vehicle or another cyclist.

Light Your Path

Be sure that your bike headlights and taillights are functioning and lit according to local law. In Illinois, night riders should have a front light that makes their path visible for at least 50 feet, a clear front reflector, and a red rear reflector that is visible from at least 100 feet.

Make Yourself Visible

When the sky is dark, wearing white doesn’t make you more visible. Instead, stick to neon or fluorescent colors, or invest in a brightly colored vest to wear whenever you ride. Some vests even come equipped with reflective tape or markings for heightened visibility.

Avoid Road Hazards

At night, road hazards can be even more difficult to see. Be sure to look out for potholes, broken glass, gravel, and large puddles, and call out to alert riders behind you to warn them of the hazard.

If you have been injured in a bicycle or auto accident, your first step should be to contact a qualified personal injury attorney. The lawyers at the Shea Law Group have decades of experience navigating the Illinois court system and have successfully procured compensation for thousands of victims. If you live in the greater Chicago area, including Cicero, Elgin, and Pilsen, call (888) 529-4185 so we can begin work on your case today.

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