Safety - Unlit versus Lit roads

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Drinky, Oct 7, 2003.

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  1. Drinky

    Drinky Guest

    Does anyone know if there is any definitive view on the merits of cycling on roads with
    streetlighting as opposed to roads without?

    I have 2 commuting routes; 1 predominately lit (main roads), the other predominantly unlit (lanes).
    In summer, it's a no brainer but now that the nights draw in, there seem to be merits to both.

    The unlit has much less traffic - but it is often going at higher speeds. Also, there is the
    momentary dazzling from oncoming traffic which gives me the shivers whenever there is also something
    approaching from behind as I always wonder if I've been seen. Also, junctions are very tricky as
    drivers are often looking only for headlights before pulling out.

    The lit has much more traffic, it's generally moving more slowly (because there is more of it),
    there is less dazzling from oncoming traffic and junctions are lit. However, the heavier traffic
    presents its own dangers.

    All views are very welcome as neither option seems to be very good.

    Regards,

    Mark
     
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  2. rigsby@degsy

    [email protected] New Member

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    Personally I would take the lit route as I think I would be seen
    far better than a dark fast country lane.

    As for the heavier traffic... as long as you can see & hear the vehicles coming in both directions...You have control of what will happen 99% of the time & with the traffic moving slower, this should improve your chances of reacting in the event of bad driving & you should see it happening before it gets too serious.

    The fast unlit lane makes yours & the drivers reaction time non existent & far more likely to end in a serious accident plus the fact
    that you might get hit, the driver may not even realise this & you could be left by the lane for some time before help arrives.

    Just make sure you are well lit up whilst in the traffic.

    Del.
     
  3. "Drinky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Does anyone know if there is any definitive view on the merits of cycling on roads with
    > streetlighting as opposed to roads without?

    I *hate* riding on unlit roads as you have to keep speed down to avoid risk of unseen things like
    potholes etc
     
  4. >definitive view on the merits of cycling on roads with streetlighting as opposed to roads without?

    Take the lighted route.

    Cheers, helen s

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    This is sent from a redundant email Mail sent to it is dumped My correct one can be gleaned from
    h*$el***$$n*$d$ot$**s**i$$m*$m$**on**[email protected]*$$a**$*ol*$*.*$$c$om*$ by getting rid of the
    overdependence on money and fame
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  5. Iarocu

    Iarocu Guest

    "Drinky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Does anyone know if there is any definitive view on the merits of cycling on roads with
    > streetlighting as opposed to roads without?
    >
    Given the option of a route on urban well lit roads with 30 or 40 mph speed limits which didn,t
    involve a long detour I would always go for that. Drivers have more time to see you as they
    approach. But unlit 60 mph roads can also be safe depending more on the volume of traffic than
    anything else. Get good lights front and back. At least a 5w rechargeable front light, preferably
    10w and oncoming traffic sees you well away. Have 2 back lights (Cateye LD600s are good) and
    clothing with Scotchlite or similiar reflective material on
    it.I frequently use a commuting route on a rural road at night When the traffic is light and I find
    I get given more room by passing cars than during the day. The worse time to use the road is in
    fact in the daylight morning rush hour period. I,ve no statistics to back it up but my feeling is
    that the greatest risk of being struck by an overtaking vehicle is when the road is busy and
    drivers are tailgating and they do not see a cyclist until the last second because their forward
    view was obstructed by them travelling too close to the vehicle in front. The other case is where
    there is a low sun dazzling the driver. cheers Iain C
     
  6. "iarocu" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > ..... I,ve no statistics to back it up but my feeling is that the greatest risk of being struck by
    > an overtaking vehicle is when the road is busy and drivers are tailgating and they do not see a
    > cyclist until the last second because their forward view was obstructed by them travelling too
    > close to the vehicle in front....

    They would have to be pretty dopey not to notice all the cars in the line immediately ahead of them
    each pulling out to overtake the cyclist in turn!
     
  7. Drinky wrote:

    > Does anyone know if there is any definitive view on the merits of cycling on roads with
    > streetlighting as opposed to roads without?
    >
    > I have 2 commuting routes; 1 predominately lit (main roads), the other predominantly unlit
    > (lanes). In summer, it's a no brainer but now that the nights draw in, there seem to be merits
    > to both.
    >
    > The unlit has much less traffic - but it is often going at higher speeds. Also, there is the
    > momentary dazzling from oncoming traffic which gives me the shivers whenever there is also
    > something approaching from behind as I always wonder if I've been seen. Also, junctions are very
    > tricky as drivers are often looking only for headlights before pulling out.
    >
    > The lit has much more traffic, it's generally moving more slowly (because there is more of it),
    > there is less dazzling from oncoming traffic and junctions are lit. However, the heavier traffic
    > presents its own dangers.
    >
    > All views are very welcome as neither option seems to be very good.

    I'd have an unlit quiet road! If I use a lit road to get home, it's one with a 50mph limit (traffic
    tends to go at 60-70) and my little back light would disappear among all the other lights.

    If the lit road has a 30mph limit I'd use it.
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    "Adrian Boliston" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "iarocu" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >
    > > ..... I,ve no statistics to back it up but my feeling is that the greatest risk of being struck
    > > by an overtaking vehicle is when the road is busy and drivers are tailgating and they do not see
    > > a cyclist until the last second because their forward view was obstructed by them travelling too
    > > close to the vehicle in front....
    >
    > They would have to be pretty dopey not to notice all the cars in the line immediately ahead of
    > them each pulling out to overtake the cyclist in
    turn!

    You are talking about drivers here.

    Good argument for the primary position though - if the cars have to move then at least they might
    have that little clue. If they don't have to move and don't, then the one behind who is a little to
    the left could get it wrong.

    cheers, clive
     
  9. Mads

    Mads Guest

    > I *hate* riding on unlit roads as you have to keep speed down to avoid
    risk of
    > unseen things like potholes etc

    Using a B&M light and a SON dynamo hub (although a B&M bell dynamo would work fine too) I find I can
    go almost as fast as in daylight (although I tend to stay under 30km/h). The only problem I have
    with dark roads is drivers who don't think they have to dim their headlights for cyclists.

    Mads
     
  10. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    news:[email protected]...

    > Good argument for the primary position though - if the cars have to move then at least they might
    > have that little clue. If they don't have to move and don't, then the one behind who is a little
    > to the left could get it wrong.

    Yeah, but then when one of the clueless gits hits you it'll be your fault for misjudging either the
    speed of the vehicle behind or your own ability to cross the road without inconveniencing the
    traffic behind or in fact endangering yourself.[1]

    [1] (c) Michael Gwynne, HM Coroner, Telford & Wrekin.

    --
    Guy
    ===

    WARNING: may contain traces of irony. Contents may settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.com
     
  11. Ian Smith

    Ian Smith Guest

    On Tue, 7 Oct 2003, Adrian Boliston <[email protected]> wrote:

    > They would have to be pretty dopey not to notice all the cars in the line immediately ahead of
    > them each pulling out to overtake the cyclist in turn!

    Well, I've ssen a motorist fail to notice the cars in teh line ahead pulling over for the headlight
    flashing, blue light flashing, siren wailing, flourescent striped police car.

    Also, it's not uncommon for them to fail to see the stationary queue of traffic in front of me and
    insist on overtaking, even if they can't get back to this side of the white lines before meeting teh
    back of said queue.

    There's a sizeable proportion of motorists who apparently don't look beyond teh back of teh vehicle
    in front of them.

    regards, Ian SMith
    --
    |\ /| no .sig
    |o o|
    |/ \|
     
  12. Anders Hj

    Anders Hj Guest

    >... and my little back light would disappear among all the other lights.

    That is a good point to remember, I think! By my experience one need quite some _more_ light on the
    bike to be seen in the city light than if one drive on a dark road somewhere.

    Its a lot easier to se a small dot from a bike light on a dark backgroud in a mirror than a somewhat
    brighter dot with the city light as background.

    As for choosing, I would take the one, where I felt safest and therefor could drive more relaxed.
    Being scared takes the fun out of commuting, I think.

    Safe driving,

    Anders
     
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