Cycling is becoming increasingly popular and whether it's for fitness, leisure or simply as a means of transport this should be encouraged. Sadly however, as the number of cyclists has increased so, in turn, has the number of accidents involving cyclists and as visibility reduces during winter months the chance being seriously or fatally injured increases.
Statistics from ROSPA (The Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents) confirm that in 2014 there were 21,287 accidents involving cyclists who were injured (and this is only those incidents reported to the police!). Whilst 80% of cycle accidents occur during daylight hours studies show that that cycle accidents in the dark are more likely to be fatal and the casualty rate per mile travelled is higher in Autumn and Winter.
For most cycling enthusiasts the above information will come as no surprise. However, as winter approaches fast and the clocks are set to go back, poorly illuminated cyclists can still be seen on the roads and are exposing themselves (and others) to unnecessary risk of injury. The Highway Code states that cyclists should wear light coloured or fluorescent clothing which helps other road users to see them in daylight or poor light and reflective clothing and accessories in the dark. However, The Highway Code does not set out legal requirements and thus some people still choose to disregard the guidance.
There is some debate amongst experts as the best type of safety clothing for cyclists but the marketplace is flooded with options and guidance which we would encourage all people taking to two wheels this autumn/winter to consider carefully.