Wearing Dark Clothes While Biking Is Like Playing Hide-and-Seek with Cars


When bikers wear dark clothes, it’s much harder for drivers to see the bicyclist, especially at night. This is because dark colors absorb light, while light colors reflect it. So, when a bicyclist wears dark clothes, they are basically blending in with the background, which makes it difficult for drivers to see a bicyclist coming.

The Chicago bicycle lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer are aware of a peer-reviewed study that found that cyclists wearing dark clothing are more likely to be involved in a crash at night than cyclists wearing light clothing.  The study also found that not all reflective clothing or equipment works the same.  According to the study, “Drivers recognised more cyclists wearing the reflective vest plus reflectors (90%) than the reflective vest alone (50%), fluorescent vest (15%) or black clothing (2%). Older drivers recognised the cyclists less often than younger drivers (51% vs 27%). ”  The study’s findings suggest that “reflective ankle and knee markings are particularly valuable at night, while fluorescent clothing is not. Cyclists wearing fluorescent clothing may be at particular risk if they incorrectly believe themselves to be conspicuous to drivers at night.”

Therefore, bicyclists who drive in the dark, should buy reflective ankle and knee markings at a minimum, in addition with reflective clothing.  Bicyclists should wear reflective clothing. Reflective materials help drivers see the bicyclists at night, even in low-light conditions.

Additionally, the study found that older drivers have a harder time seeing cyclists at night than younger drivers. Older drivers were only able to identify cyclists 27% of the time, compared to 51% for younger drivers. The study’s findings are concerning, given the growing number of older drivers on the road. In the United States, the number of drivers over the age of 65 is expected to double by 2050. As older drivers age, they experience a number of changes in their vision, including decreased visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. These changes can make it more difficult for older drivers to see objects at night, especially objects that are not well-lit. The study’s findings suggest that cyclists should take extra precautions when riding at night, especially if they are riding in areas with a lot of older drivers. Cyclists should wear bright, reflective clothing and make sure their headlights and taillights are working properly. They should also be aware of their surroundings and be prepared to take evasive action if necessary.

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact the Chicago personal injury attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer.  We have a lot of experience with bicycle accidents and can help you navigate the legal issues arising  with a bicycle accident.  We have a team of experienced lawyers who will fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.  Contact us today for a free consultation. We will review your case and help you understand your legal options.

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