Being bright on a bike may not be enough to ensure people see you. To increase your visibility, you need to get your patches of brightness moving.
Think back to childhood games where one person needed to catch the others. The best way to avoid getting caught was to stay statue-still. Any time you moved, it gave the catcher more of a chance to spot you. When you are out cycling, you want to do all you can to be seen. Yet you need to do so in a safe manner, not weaving across the lane or waving your hands in the air as you ride.
Illuminate the things that move the most on a bicycle to help drivers see you
People often advise cyclists to use lights and wear bright clothing. Both are good tips, but the problem is lights are static on your bike, and so is much of your body.
Think about what moves most on your bike and what moves most on your body when cycling. Then use lights, bright colors and reflective materials to highlight them.
- Your wheels: These are in continuous motion as you ride. Several manufacturers offer tires with reflective sidewalls. Alternatively, you could add some cheap clip-on reflectors to your spokes.
- Your legs: As you ride, your lower legs go up and down like pistons. Wearing socks in a bright color, reflective ankle bands, or even ankle lights can create a lot of visible movement to help drivers pick you out among the traffic.
These recommendations can help make you more visible. Yet, some drivers would still fail to see you even if you had more illumination than a Christmas tree because they are distracted. Others might see you but fail to take enough care. If a driver injures you when you are cycling, having proof you were visible makes it easier to prove they were negligent and claim the compensation you need.