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Making sure drivers see you on your bike at night

You have a right to use the road when you ride your bike, no matter what time of day it is. That does not mean you don't face extra risks at specific times, however. If you choose to ride after dark -- something many cyclists attempt to avoid -- you need to know that it's often harder for drivers to see you.

Let's be very clear: That does not mean you are at fault if they hit you. If you follow the rules of the road -- like riding in the right lanes, using the right lights and reflectors on your bike -- they have an obligation to do the same and to avoid an accident. A driver may complain that they never saw you in the wake of the crash, but that's not an excuse.

That said, increasing visibility is one of the best things you can do to make sure you stay safe. Remember, you do have a legal obligation to use a reflector or a light. That's a good start, but what else do you need to consider?

It's better to use a flashing light rather than a solid light. These tend to attract more attention and stand out. In some cases, they even flash with an irregular pattern, alternating between high and low brightness settings. Anything that a driver does not usually see and does not expect is more likely to get their attention and let them know where you are.

All of this helps, but it does not guarantee that an irresponsible driver won't hit you. If so, you may need to seek financial compensation.

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