As British Summer Time ends this weekend, bike insurance firm Cycleguard is encouraging cyclists to don high-vis clothing and use lights on their bikes.
Once the clocks go back evenings will become noticeable darker, with dusk falling as early as 4pm, when rush hour begins.
As many as 80 people a year are killed and 212 seriously injured on Britain’s roads as commuters travel in the late afternoon and early evening darkness, according to Department for Transport statistics. Despite those dangers, Cycleguard found that one in ten cyclists never wear high-vis clothing during winter, in a recent poll.
Without reflective clothing or accessories a cyclist is only visible from 30 metres away, in low beam headlights, according to the European Transport Safety Council. Reflective items make cyclists visible at 150 metres away – giving drivers five times the distance to notice them.
“Research shows that the risks to cyclists increase considerably when the clocks go back and the evenings get darker,” said James Pickering, MD of specialist insurance provider Cycleguard. “The simple act of wearing some fluorescent clothing makes you significantly more visible. In short, don’t leave home without it.”
Cycleguard’s survey also revealed that the majority of cyclists – 57 per cent – believe it should be compulsory for cyclists to wear high-vis clothing in the dark.
British Summer Time ends at 2am on Sunday October 30th, when the clocks go back one hour.
However moves are being made to look at the benefits of shifting the clocks in the UK. A Private Members’ Bill passed its second reading in Parliament last year with a large majority. If successful, it will lead to a cross-departmental analysis of the benefits of Single/Double Summer Time (GMT+1 in winter / GMT+2 in summer) – could lead to a three-year trial.