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Top Safety Tips for Cycling at Night in Portland

Posted on November 22, 2021 in

Riding a bicycle at night requires great caution. Low visibility, fatigued drivers, and drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs can heighten the risk of an accident. Cyclists are especially vulnerable to severe injuries in an accident, resulting in potentially devastating damages. While accidents can occur for any number of reasons, there are steps that Portland cyclists can take to stay safe while cycling at night.

#1: Choose Your Routes Carefully

When cycling at night, it is important to stick to well-lit areas with light traffic. These areas are generally safer than darker roads or streets with lots of motorists in the evening. Darkness and low visibility can make it easier for a motorist to strike a cyclist. Less traffic also means fewer drivers that could cause a collision.

#2: Stick to Bicycle Lanes or Paths

If possible, stick to well-lit bike trails or roads that have designated bicycle lanes during the evening. On the road, cyclists are typically harder to spot than other motor vehicles. Drivers may not expect to see cyclists on the road at night, meaning that they are not looking for cyclists in the first place. If a bike path or lane is not available, stay on well-lit roadways, but remain alert.

#3: Wear Reflective Gear and Lights

While staying in well-lit areas can improve a cyclist’s visibility to drivers, an extra layer of protection is necessary when cycling at night. Wearing good reflective clothing can help cyclists stay visible. Cyclists can also place reflective duct tape on their backs to make themselves even more visible to passing motorists. 

Cyclists should always use good, high-quality front and rear bike lights while riding at night. Additionally, placing reflective tape on the back and sides of the bike can it more visible to drivers. These precautions can help cyclists avoid a potential collision.  

#4: Avoid Music and Other Distractions

Alertness is key while cycling at night. If a cyclist is listening to music while riding, for example, he or she may not notice a vehicle approaching from behind. Using a cell phone while cycling can take a person’s eyes away from the road, making it difficult to avoid potential dangers. To stay safe at night, avoid listening to music, using a cell phone, or engaging in any other distracting activities.

#5: Practice Defensive Cycling

If a cyclist routinely commutes early in the morning or late at night, it can be easy to feel comfortable during the ride. However, cyclists should always stay alert and practice defensive driving whenever they are riding at night. 

  • Cyclists should assume that drivers cannot see them.
  • Cyclists should always be prepared to anticipate a driver’s actions and protect themselves in a dangerous situation.

While these tips can help cyclists reduce their risk of an accident, collisions can still occur. Some Portland drivers are highly negligent and commit dangerous acts that put cyclists at risk, especially at night.

If you are involved in an accident while cycling at night in Portland, you may be eligible for a claim against the at-fault driver. In these situations, you need an attorney who can represent your best interests and fight for your right to recovery. After receiving medical attention, contact a Portland bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.