Accident Prevention: Night Biking Safety Tips for California Cyclists

This week we covered the tragic story of 47-year-old cyclist Brian Winfrey, a Laguna Hills resident who was struck and killed by a car while biking on Euclid Avenue in Garden Grove last month. The fatal Orange County bike accident occurred despite the facts that the driver was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and the bike rider was wearing a reflective vest—but, the accident occurred at night.

Sadly, biking at night is significantly more dangerous than sharing the road with cars during the day. However, sometimes cycling at night can’t be avoided. How can you reduce your chances of a collision when riding your bike at night?

  • Get a headlamp or front bike light. A headlight is required by law in California for night bikers. It serves two important purposes: not only does a headlight help you see where you are going, it also helps other traffic on the road see you.
  • Get some reflectors. Many bike accidents, like the one above, occur when a cyclist is struck from behind. Make use of reflectors, reflective tape, and brightly-colored clothing. In addition, consider using a blinking red light on the rear of your bike to increase visibility.
  • Assume you are invisible. In driving school, you were probably taught to drive defensively. For cyclists, you should go one step further and assume no one can even see you. Never assume a vehicle sees you. When in doubt, try to make eye contact and wave before crossing in front of a car or truck.
  • Choose safer streets. Some effective, yet overlooked, ways to stay safe while biking at night are to choose roads with less traffic, roads which are well lit, and roads with wide lanes and shoulders.

If you have been injured in an Orange County bike accident, you may consider finding legal assistance before filing a personal injury claim. At Russell & Lazarus, we offer free, confidential consultations for injury victims who need information, answers, and guidance. Call our CA bike accident attorneys today at (949) 851-0222 to schedule your meeting.

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