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7 Reasons to Wear Reflective Items as a Cyclist
The world of bicycling is growing by leaps and bounds, but with that increased popularity comes the increased responsibility to proactively prevent accidents and keep yourself safe. With that in mind, it’s important to note the importance of wearing reflective materials for cyclists.
The following are seven reasons why cycling and reflective materials go hand in hand:
Visibility is Provided by Reflective Items
Reflective items allow vehicles to see a cyclist at night or in dark weather conditions. Reflectors have been proven to provide up to 64 percent more visibility than standard bike lights. They work by producing a light that bounces off the road and back on itself, becoming brighter than it was when it was first emitted. Cyclists benefit from increased visibility while riding at night or on a foggy day when visibility is low. They also help prevent accidents because the headlights of oncoming cars will always reflect off them first, even before the cyclist is noticed.
Reflective Materials Can Be Seen from Far Away
They are often made of plastic or other shiny materials like metals, reflecting an incredible amount of light and can be seen from far away. Reflective materials such as bags, vests, helmets, and shoes also help to keep cyclists safe by providing a consistent source of reflective light. You can use any small rock, cracks in the pavement, or reflective surface to make a cyclist more visible to drivers on the road.
They Help Prevent Accidents
In addition to providing visibility, reflective materials make cyclists more visible to drivers, helping prevent accidents. For example, vehicles may have trouble seeing them without shiny, reflective material on their clothes and bicycles if a cyclist is in a bike lane or on the side of the road during daylight hours.
They Are Inexpensive and Affordable
You can find highly reflective clothing items at any sporting goods store or online for a low price. They are usually less than $30 for apparel and often cost between $10 and $50 for accessories like shoes and helmets. They are often reflective or glow-in-the-dark and can be used for biking and walking.
They are Weather Resistant
Many cyclists wear reflective materials because they are weather-resistant. This means that even when it’s raining out and cyclists are going through a puddle, they will remain visible to others on the road. This can be dangerous without reflective items to keep them safe because cars do not always know where cyclists are in the water. They may think there is no one around and accidentally drive into the water, which could cause an accident.
They are Easy to Accessorize With Other Items.
Many cyclists wear reflective items to stay safe on the roads while also adding to their style. They are easy to accessorize with other pieces of clothing because they usually clip onto or stick on top of existing clothing and can be added or removed at any time. This makes it easy for cyclists to track how much time they have spent biking and how far they have gone during the day if they wish to do so. The reflective material is used in addition to the bicycle helmet and is an additional safety precaution while riding.
They Are Portable.
Reflective material is useful for more than just staying safe while biking. You can also use them in other situations, such as walking in the dark at night or crossing a large parking lot. This makes it possible to use the same items of safety equipment for different purposes and allows cyclists to take them with them whenever they need to walk or bike somewhere other than their usual route.
What cyclists should not do when cycling
- Do not text while riding.
- Do not ride on the sidewalk.
- Do not drink alcohol and ride a bike, even if it is in a designated area for drinking (like a beer garden).
- Stay visible with reflective materials when riding at night.
Other safety precautions a cyclist should take
- Make sure that your bike is in good working order.
- Ensure that your bike has adequate brakes, lights, and reflectors for weather conditions.
- Wear a helmet that fits you properly.
- Always ride on the right side of the road. It is also best to wear reflective materials on the front, back, or both sides of your body.
- Inform others of your ride route in case you need emergency help or can be reached during a ride (you can program cell phone numbers into GPS devices).
- Always wear the correct clothing and accessories while cycling (if possible).
- Follow traffic rules (such as stopping at red lights and making right turns on red).
Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for Strobels Supply