Riding a bicycle is a great choice for people who like staying active and want an efficient and economically-conscious way to get from one place to another. It’s also a great low-impact way to stay fit and get exercise. Some people choose to bike for transportation, whereas others bike for fun. Either way, it’s important to know how to stay safe while riding—especially at night.
While on a bike, you have less protection from the elements and other vehicles since you’re in open air and they’re protected by metal, glass, and plastic. By knowing safety precautions, you can avoid accidents as best as possible so you aren’t injured and incur other damages.
Tips for Riding a Bike at Night
In general, you should avoid riding a bike at night as much as possible—bicyclists are even harder for motorists to see at night, which means they’re in more danger of an accident. The best thing you can do at any time of day or night to avoid a bike accident is to ride predictably. This means that you don’t make any sudden changes in your movements and adhere to one place as much as possible.
Of course, this isn’t always possible. Here are some safety tips for riding a bicycle at night so that you can avoid an accident as much as possible:
- Plan your route before leaving, and prioritize routes with specified bike lanes
- Ensure you have a headlight, taillight, and rear reflectors
- Wear your helmet
- Wear bright clothing and reflective vests, if possible
- Go with the flow of traffic
- Stay as far to the right as possible in the lane
- Stop completely at stop lights and stop signs, take an extra moment before proceeding
- Stay vigilant for obstructions
- Ride in a straight line
- Scan for drivers around and behind you often
- Stick to the speed limit
- Announce yourself if approaching pedestrians
Following all of these tips can help you stay safe while riding your bicycle. When you’re sharing the road with vehicles, you want to be as careful as possible. They’re likely not paying attention to bicyclists. Even if they do notice you, they probably are irritated to be sharing the road with a bicycle, so that’s why you need to be as careful as possible.
It’s best to assume a motorist can’t see you or isn’t going to be as careful as possible around you. That way, you’re expecting the worst and can adapt. So if a driver makes a bad move, you were anticipating it, and can potentially avoid a crash.
That’s not always possible, though. When you get into a wreck while on your bike in Albuquerque, you could use the help of a bicycle accident lawyer. They’ll be able to prove the other party was at fault for your damages.
New Mexico Bike Laws You Should Know
In order to make sure the crash wasn’t your fault, you need to be following New Mexico bike laws. As a cyclist, you’ll need to consider state bicycle traffic laws as well as bike laws for Albuquerque. As well as the safety tips listed above, here are the rules and regulations that are not just suggestions, but are required of you as a bicyclist in Albuquerque, NM:
- When biking at night, you must have a headlight, taillight, and rear reflectors
- Cyclists can only ride one to a bike, or one person per fixed seat on the cycle
- Bicyclists cannot ride while under the influence
- Follow the rules of the road
- Bike as if you’re a motorist
- Cyclists must follow the flow of traffic, never riding against traffic
- Stay as far to the right as possible
- Cannot ride more than two abreast on roadways
- Bicycle cannot operate on a roadway that creates a public safety hazard
- Bicyclists cannot carry a package if they cannot maintain one hand on the handlebars
When you followed all of these rules and still got into an accident, then it’s likely the other party was fully at fault. Your bicycle accident lawyer will be able to investigate and ensure that the other party was responsible for what happened since you were adhering to all the laws and safety precautions required of you.
Albuquerque Bike Paths
As mentioned above, choosing to take a bike path is a far safer option than a route where cars and bicyclists share the road without a designated bike lane. When you’re planning your bicycle route, day or night, the safest path will always be bike paths and bike lanes.
You can find a bike map of the city of Albuquerque here. The key for the colors on the map are as follows:
- Blue – bike lane on the street
- Pink – bike lane with a buffer space
- Yellow – cars and bikes must share the street with no designated bike lane
- Purple – shared roadway optimized for bike use
- Orange – Crossings over or under the road for bikes and pedestrians
- Green – paved trail that automobiles cannot use
- Brown – unpaved trail that automobiles cannot use
On this map, you can also see proposed trails and bike lanes as well as the different 50-mile loops. The City of Albuquerque and Mid-Region Council of Governments are working towards the Long Range Bikeway System (LRBS) to give people in the area access to bike routes and increase the safety and availability of bike paths and lanes in the city.
Buckingham & Vega Law Firm Is Here for You
No matter how much you plan, how careful you are, and how diligently you follow the rules, a motorist could still crash into you while you’re biking—day or night. You’re more susceptible to injuries and damages from the accident because you’re more exposed, which makes the crash even more devastating for you.
When the other party was negligent and caused your collision, you can take legal action. Our Albuquerque bicycle accident lawyers from Buckingham & Vega Law Firm are here to support you in your bicycle accident claim. Reach out to our firm today so we can start working for you right away.