Are There Any Statistics That Show Night Time Riding Is Safer Than Day Time Riding?

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by mercurigera, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. mercurigera

    mercurigera New Member

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    A lot of people I know, including other cyclist think it's more dangerous to ride at night.
    Well I have a differing opinion.
    And I'd like my family to stop being so paranoid about it. They're always like ride in the day it's safer. I'm like no it isn't.

    There are less cars on the road, therefore I can hear/see them much better than the hundreds of cars in day time.
    I also notice cars give me more room when passing, they even slow down. I bet it's because the notice me (I have 3 flashing red lights, two on my bike, one on my helmet, plus a bunch of reflectors.) better than in the day time where I could easily just blend in with the scenery. Also maybe it's because they CAN move over more. In day time sometimes the only thing they can do is slow down some because there are other cars in the other lanes/opposite lanes so they can't move over more.
    Also, no need to worry about passing out from heat, and getting too dehydrated in summer.

    Literally, the only fear I have at night is Semi-trucks, and people/creatures that might be hiding in the bushes waiting to jump out and attack me.

    I'd much like some statistics about it, if it exists. I can't find any on google search. But sometimes i'm just bad at finding stuff.
     
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  2. Totalarmordestine

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    No, the available resources tend to indicate that night time riding is more dangerous.

    But of course all statistics are based on averaged conditions... your specific situation may be such that it IS safer to ride your route at night. I know for instance that many business/light industrial areas are quite vacant at night... so the odds of encountering ANY traffic go down significantly in those situations.
     
  3. BikeBikeBikeBike

    BikeBikeBikeBike Well-Known Member

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    I can give you anecdotal evidence.
    I ride at night all the time, I love it.
    I spent 5 years commuting to work at 4 am, through a tourist/bar/casino/nightclub area and never had any trouble.
    I also ride for fun at night sometimes in a rural area.
     
  4. tarverten

    tarverten New Member

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    Most stats show night time riding to b considerably more dangerous than daytime. But these aren't factored for light use, and/or changes in traffic levels. Without statistics, and based on personal experience and judgement, I agree that night riding can be much safer (with good lighting) because traffic is that much less.

    I often have to ride home from concerts and nights out, and find about 11PM or later to be beautiful, with the streets mostly to myself. Plus a lit bike in full dark stands out much more than one in broad daylight. Of course things might change on Saturday night when those fewer drivers may have a higher percentage of impaired among them.

    IMO - the worst time for riding is dawn and dusk when lighting conditions, including low sun glare, make for the least contrast between me and my surroundings
     
  5. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear New Member

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    I feel safer riding at night than in the day. While commuting home at 3-4 am I see many less vehicles which during my 12.5 mile commute (15 months now) on the average is 2 & 2, (2 toward me, 2 pass me). With this in mind though I just had a bda experience a few weeks ago at 3 am where I was almost hit as I was coming to a "T" intersection when I saw lights coming from the right. The car took the turn to sharp and turned directly into my lane as I was within feet of stopping at the stop sign.

    I had to run off the road putting me in an off balance position smacking my crotch into the top tube. The guy did stop to see if I was OK which I seemed to be other then crotch pain which cleared up in a day or so. He said "I didn't see your light". Everyone who knows me comments on how good my light is. As most people he was probably in a hurry going to fast and obviously not following the rules of the road by turning into my lane.

    The lesson learned is: you could have 50 vehicles pass you or only one. He was one of 2 I saw that night, it only takes one and your game (life) could over over. This doesn't stop me from riding at night as I enjoy riding at night and still feel safer at night.
     
  6. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay New Member

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    Even if you found statistics there are so many variables the statistics would be meaningless for the times and places you ride at night. One huge variable: are you out there when bars are closing? NOT good! Or even in an entertainment district in the evening where there will be drinkers on the street? Not so good either. Of course, weekends are worse than weekdays. I avoid cycling in much of Austin, Texas during drinking hours, but feel super save at 5-6 AM riding to work with hardly a car on the road and they can see my lights, I can see them much better than in the daytime.
     
  7. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    I road at 5 this morning and loved the temperature,lack of major traffic and peacefulness. I have one of those lights your referring to and they work great!The only thing is, deer aren't very smart. Ive had 5 jump out in front of me in a 8 mile trip, one was 2 feet in front of me and theres no telling what direction they will go. Pick your roads carefully and you should be fine, possibly safer than in the daytime with traffic.
     
  8. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature New Member

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    I also often worry about party drivers and try to avoid cycling Fri and Sat nights 8pm-4am. I'll ride up to the convenience market but quick trip only and stay out of party zones.

    Probably not safer on unfamiliar roads either, but after riding same roads for a while night rides are nice.

    I prefer daylight, though. Best ride times are Christmas and New years mornings, if the roads are clear and dry.
     
  9. Mengtian

    Mengtian New Member

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    I have ran into car twice in the daytime (car turned in front of me) and I have never had a problem when it is dark and at night.
     
  10. welshdude3

    welshdude3 Member

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    Worked 2nd shift for years. Always felt safer on the homeward leg than towards work. On the rear I had a Cygolite Hotshot 2w rear blinkie and a 600 lumens Niterider w/strobe option on the front. Always had a couple .5w rear blinkies and a Cateye backup light on the front as well.

    People are by nature cautious and simply deride that which they don't understand. At a given point concern becomes control. Ultimately, it's your life. You can either live it on YOUR terms or someone elses.

    Take every precaution in terms of lighting, reflective clothing, well maintained bike, toolkit, etc. and enjoy the solitude and magic of riding at night.
     
  11. gavinfree

    gavinfree Member

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    Well, most statistics are against OP's theory of riding at night being safer, but that doesn't really mean anything. Statistics are too general to encompass specific areas, unless studies are performed in those areas. There are probably dozens of cities and towns where night riding is safer due to a variety of factors. I know it's not safer where I live, but that's due to high traffic and drivers that aren't the smartest or the nicest. Other areas could easily be different.
     
  12. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Active Member

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    I haven't come across any statistics such as these. I would assume that night time riding would be safer than day time riding due to there being less vehicles on the road. In this sense, the risk is greatly diminished. However, if you're living in a country with a high crime rate it's never a good idea to be out and about in the evening. I generally avoid cycling in the evenings and prefer to do so during the day when there are others around, thus limiting criminal activity.
     
  13. moneyman

    moneyman Member

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    I believe riding bike at night is safer since there is less traffic and therefore less accident may occur. However, it doesn't still prevent you from falling with your bike or crashing with an object.
     
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