Night cycling can definitely be dangerous – much more so than during daytime – if you are not taking the proper precautions. Daily commuters in the Puget Sound area are likely used to cycling during the night in the winter months; however, night cycling also increases in the summer months as the heat of the day has dissipated and it becomes much more pleasant to ride. Seattle has a couple of night cycling laws, but there are other things you can do to increase your chances of staying safe while cycling at night.
Seattle Night Cycling Law
In Seattle, there are two important legal requirements your bike must be outfitted with when riding at night. The first is a lamp or headlight attached to the front of your bicycle. The lamp can be attached anywhere to the front, including the handlebars, stem, or even the fork. As long as the lamp’s light can be seen from at least 500 feet and is a white light (no lights on the blue or red spectrum) then you can legally ride at night.
The last legal requirement for night cycling is a red reflector attached to either the seat or the seat post. The reflector must be able to reflect motor vehicle headlights from a distance of 600 feet. You may also have a lamp that shines a red light on the back of your bicycle in addition to the reflector that can make you more noticeable to motor vehicles behind you.
Night Cycling Tips
Following the laws above might not be enough for a car to take notice of you when night cycling. Here are some tips that can help you when you take to the road in the dark:
- Put reflective tape on your bicycle
- Wear reflective or bright clothing
- Put a lamp on your helmet
- Cycle only on well-lit roads or stick to bike paths
While following the above will make you much more noticeable to cars and other vehicles, it does not guarantee you will be completely safe. If you’ve been hit by a car while night cycling, you need an experienced cycling attorney who can help you.
The Advocates have taken on many cycling accident cases and won numerous cycling accident claims. Within a minute of calling you will be connected to a cycling attorney with whom you can discuss your case. Your attorney doesn’t see any money until you do, so call today!