News Room

Dark Times Are Here

Published by Idaho STAR Program on Friday, October 03, 2014
At least where I live, it’s starting to be quite dark on my morning commute; probably is for you, too. It won’t be long before my evening commute is the same. As I drive down State street on my way to work, I see pedestrians, bicyclists, scooter, and motorcycle riders. To be more accurate, I typically DON’T see these folks until I am very close. I also notice in these ‘dark times’ those pedestrians, bicyclists, scooter and motorcycle riders who have taken the initiative to dress is bright colors and some reflective material are much easier to see from much farther away.

As a motorcycle or scooter rider, please be aware that in these ‘dark times,’ you can be very hard to see. Please ride defensively! Do I recommend bright colors and reflective materials? Certainly, but I also know that not everyone is going to dress like I do. So here are some tips for all riders (hi-viz folks and the all-in-black folks and everyone in between):

  • Flash your brake light before and during stops (and while stopped). This not only gets more attention (a flashing light is more noticeable than a static light), but helps visually separate your bike’s light from the lights of the vehicles in front of you.
  • Don’t rush the yellow lights!  Generally speaking, drivers (and riders, too) tend to push through a yellow light (rather than stop). As a result the last car or two (and sometimes three!) might be going through a red light. If this is you, the traffic coming the other way (that now has a green) may not see you in the dark conditions.  Wait for the next green light.
  • Don’t rush the ‘fresh’ green light. Same reason as above.
  • Look at the other riders out there and notice how easy or hard it is to see them based on what they are wearing. One of my friends recently became a ‘hi-viz’ convert simply by riding behind me in the dark and seeing how easy I was to spot.
The days are getting shorter, mornings are dark, and evenings will soon be too. Be visible, be defensive, expect others NOT to see you, and take action to ‘stand out’ in these dark times.

-Ax

(Originally posted by Ax on 10.13.13)


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