With the days shortening being seen on the roads has never been more important. In reduced visibility like fog or darkness it’s imperative you make yourself as visible as possible to other road users.
This doesn’t just mean adding lights to your bike, although this one crucial part of it, but making sure you position yourself correctly in the road and act appropriately towards other road users.
Position yourself correctly in the road. Riding in the gutter encourages cars to squeeze past so it’s better to keep out from the kerb and command the space you are entitled to.
Never squeeze past a large vehicle on the inside at junctions. There are several blind spots with large vehicles so they may not see you until it’s too late.
Keep your head up
Keep your head up and look further forward not just down at your front wheel, look where you want to go. Looking further out in front also helps anticipate potential hazards so you can deal with them quicker.
Make sure you make regular checks over your shoulder as sounds can be misleading and can’t tell you how far away approaching traffic is as good as seeing it.
Letting other road users know what you intend to do in advance is more common sense but you’d be surprised how many people don’t do it. If you are changing position or turning then stick your arm out clearly in the direction you intend to go well in advance.
Make eye contact
If waiting at a junction, roundabout or exiting or entering a side road when in traffic try to make eye contact with vehicle drivers. This helps establish whether they have seen you or not and more often than not they will acknowledge your presence in a positive way.
You should fit and use lights if you are riding in any low visibility conditions such as fog, mist, heavy rain and on grey winter days.
If you ride after dawn or near dusk but not in darkness we’d also recommend using small lights, especially as this tends to be around rush hour when roads are busier.
Use brighter coloured jackets. If you wear a backpack while riding then a hi-viz cover is very striking. For helmets there are also hi-vis bands or covers.
For side-on visibility reflective tape on the frame can make a huge difference, it’s not that expensive and can be easily removed when the days get longer.
Use the road facilities
Stop at red lights.
Use Advanced Stop Lines and boxes at traffic lights.
Don’t wear earphones in both ears when you’re riding.
Cycle lanes are a contentious issue. Some are great. Some are comically bad. Some are downright dangerous. Use your common sense.