It is no hidden fact I love cycling and I want more people to start cycling as a form of commuting but fuck me there are a lot of assholes that both cycle and ride a motorbike that does not have any form of high visibility gear at all.
I don’t think I need to tell anyone reading this that it is insanely dangerous to ride at night or when visibility is outright shit without reflective gear as other people on the road or even those walking are unable to see you. While I am a careful rider on my motorbike I can tell you for a fact there are many out there that do not actively look out for cyclists and prefer to pretend they do not exist – even pedestrians will walk out onto the road and not look twice. It is reported that a small increase in people dying when being hit on a bicycle or getting hurt badly (GOV.UK, n.d.) because drivers didn’t see or didn’t look twice.
The sad part is although it isn’t always the fault of the cyclist, some of these could be preventable if people just saw some reflective gear. Buying a high visibility jacket is cheap and in the local town I live near I can often find them going for a fiver (which to be fair is paper thin and won’t keep anyone warm) but online you can find a pretty good jacket for around twenty quid. You can also buy bands you can put on and much more and the cost you pay to be seen is ultimately worth your life. The same applies to buying reflective gloves and even a helmet; anything that allows you to be seen and stick out as a sore thumb is enough for someone to glance that second time.
If you think cyclists not wearing reflective gear is the worst, it seems insanely common now for people to ride without any lights. It cost little to nothing to get some rechargeable lights for the front and back and you can likely even get some free reflectors if you act nicely at a bike shop. I can’t think even for a second why people are that lazy to not pop a few lights on when just being seen might save your life!
Overall I do not know why people dislike wearing gear that could actively save their lives. Is it peer pressure where people will comment about them wearing it and that they look stupid or something? I dunno but ultimately while everyone on the road should be double-checking before they pull out, by just wearing a little bit extra gear everyone on the road has a higher chance of seeing you and some poor sod doesn’t have to shovel your body from the side of the road.
GOV.UK. (n.d.). Reported road casualties in Great Britain: pedal cycle factsheet, 2020. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/reported-road-casualties-great-britain-pedal-cyclist-factsheet-2020/reported-road-casualties-in-great-britain-pedal-cycle-factsheet-2020.
Need to reference?
Ellis, M. (2022). Put some gear on. [online] Snat's Narratives & Tales. Available at: https://snat.co.uk/rants/put-some-gear-on.html [Accessed 07 Dec 2023].
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