Can You See Me Now?
Visibility, as used herein, refers to the ability of other roadway users to see and recognize a bicyclist on the road, in a variety of situations. This article will not approach illumination (lighting) on the bike other than from a visibility perspective.
Day Time Visibility
One would think that a motorist driving along would naturally be able to see a cyclist on the road. After all, here you are going along on a vehicle about five or six feet long and you are about two feet wide and about 6 feet high, often wearing something very colorful. How could a motorist NOT see you?
Actually, they probably do at first, when you are a ways off ahead. But then you slowly become part of the background and blend in with the environment. That’s when your visibility has been lost. The motorist then “loses sight” of you and, as the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” Literally. This is especially true when the roadway is flat or a slight downhill and you are doing more coasting, with no visible motions.
Here are some points that may help you to become more visible to drivers during the day:
Night Time Visibility
We include this even though very few Silver Wheelers actually ride after dark, and those who do seem to be pretty well prepared. But for those who do get caught on the road at sundown or later, here are some points to consider:
Visibility is the responsibility of the cyclist - it is your job to be sure you are as visible as possible to other roadway users. Never assume drivers can see you - make sure they do!