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Avoiding Accidents While Bicycling at Night

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on January 15, 2013

WA Nighttime Bicycling SafetyFor five years in a row, the League of American Bicyclists has named Washington State the nation’s number one “Bicycle Friendly State.” This does not mean, however, that Washington’s roadways are perfectly safe for bicyclists. Being visible is an important part of bicycle safety. This is especially true if you are riding your bike at night. There are a number of steps you can take to decrease your chances of being involved in a Washington bicycle accident.

First, it is important to obey Washington’s bicycle laws. Washington Statute 46.61.780 requires all nighttime cyclists to utilize a white front light that is visible from 500 feet. Riders must also use a red rear reflector, but it is also advisable to use a red rear light and to wear bright clothes. Additional lights, reflectors, and reflective tape are strongly recommended, but not required by law.

As is true with daytime riding, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of other vehicles. Drivers are less likely to see bicyclists at night, so riders should use extra care when entering an intersection. Bicyclists should ride with traffic and remain as far to the side of the road as possible. It can increase your visibility to ride in groups, but bicyclists must remember that it is illegal to ride more than two abreast.

The Seattle bike accident injury attorneys at Hardwick and Pendergast, P.S. have a long history of helping injured bicyclists in Washington. If you or a loved one has been harmed in a bicycle accident, please call our offices for a free consultation at (888) 228-3860.

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