It’s that time of year, where the nights close in and even the days can seem dreary and dull. If you are a cyclist, this time heralds the need to brighten up your cycling attire and light up your bike.

High visibility clothing has been around for a long time, but it’s still perceived as just a little bit uncool by many cyclists. But there are many designs now available, from lightweight water proof jackets, to helmet covers and LED tabards. In fact, even top designers such as Moschino have jumped on the high visibility bandwagon, with ‘tradie’ inspired ready-to-wear lines hitting the catwalk during their spring/summer 2016 runway show.

At Freeclaim Solicitors, we believe any clothing or accessory that increases a cyclist’s visibility to other road users is definitely cool. Giving motorists even another second to spot you is worth the neon!

Here is our guide to high visibility and how to use it.

High visibility, fluorescent, reflective, lights – where to start

High visibility clothing works in a number of different ways. Obviously, bright colours are more readily spotted, but fluorescent clothing is even better. In a nutshell, fluorescent clothing reacts to the sun’s ultraviolent rays and appears to ‘glow’. This makes it ideal for wearing when cycling in the daytime and there are a range of colours from yellows and oranges, even pink, blue and green. Times have moved on too – you don’t have to don a 80s style shapeless tabard. Cycling clothing designers have created a vast array of stylish jackets, jerseys and shirts which will make you stand out from the crowd in a very good way!

In comparison, reflective clothing comes into its own in dark conditions, when a vehicle’s headlights hit the reflective panels. Designers often sew reflective strips or panels into clothing, and this means that when you’re out on your bike at night, and people use their headlights, the strips and panels will glow bright white.

Long-life LED lights have revolutionised safety clothing and equipment and they are frequently incorporated into cycling clothing too. Due to the way our eyes work, blinking, or flashing lights tend to be most effective, but continuous lights are good too. Sticking with the way vehicles arrange their lights, if you can, choose white lights in front and red lights behind, which will help motorists to determine which direction you are travelling in.

Bright and sunny winter days – shadows and visibility

Our eyes react to different light. Without ‘blinding’ you with science, this has to do with the way rods and cones in our eyes work. It takes a lot longer for our eyes to adjust going from light to dark, than vice versa and therefore it’s important to remember that moving from a brightly lit road into the shadows of overhanging trees can leave a motorist near blind for a split second. Therefore, it is important to remember that high visibility clothing should not be reserved for dark and dreary days as bright, crisp winter days can be just as much of a problem for drivers. You should consider wearing your “brights” whenever you are out on the public highway for safer cycling.

Reducing cyclist road accidents

The roads are inherently a hazardous place and therefore we would recommend you do everything you can as a cyclist to make sure you are visible to other road users. Hopefully our guide will have given you some tips and hints about selecting and wearing high visibility clothing whilst out enjoying your bike.

Remember, if you are injured in an accident whilst cycling, we have over 30 years’ experience in handling cycling accident compensation claims. Many of our solicitors are keen cyclists too and can associate with the problems that cyclists face on the road. We work on a no win no fee basis and can you make a claim for compensation, as well as looking to get early assessment and treatment in place so you can recover from your injuries more quickly. Call us today on 0800 612 7340 (open 24 hours).