Staying safe on the go: with the Basil accessories range, you can increase your visibility when you’re on the go on your bike.
Good visibility is very, very important. This is especially true in winter months when the days are shorter. As a cyclist, you are more vulnerable than ever in traffic during darker days. Did you know that 20% of cycling accidents occur at dusk or during darkness? What’s more, cyclists generally tend to overestimate the distance at which they are visible to motorists. For us, this is reason enough to pay extra attention to visibility. Your safety is crucial! Therefore, we’ve put together some essential advice on how to stay seen when you’re out amidst traffic. With Basil’s bicycle accessories, you’ll be able to be seen day and night. LED’s be seen!
Ready to start memorising some safety tips? Good. Too many cyclists think they can see everything all too well, while more still assume they’re always clearly visible to others. However, the figures are frank. Around 20% of all cycling accidents happen during dusk or in the dark. It’s one reason why we like to use a bicycle bell when cycling, but that’s nothing compared to maintaining good visibility.
The view from the bike versus from the car
What happens to your vision in the dark? For one, your eyes adapt to different light conditions. As a cyclist, you have a wider field of vision, as you can see (little) ambient light in front of you. Your eyes therefore grow accustomed to the dark, meaning that contours in the surroundings give you sufficient awareness to anticipate your surroundings. The speed in relation to a car is also lower, making anticipating much easier. The field of vision for motorists is much narrower. Because of the strong light of headlights, a motorist can see in detail what is happening right in front of the car. Precisely what happens outside is not (or hardly) visible. This means that a cyclist sees a car much more quickly than a motorist sees a cyclist. Add to this the fact that 42% of Dutch people have difficulty seeing well in the dark. Night blindness is partly a cause of this. Additionally, there is temporary glare, caused by things such as oncoming traffic, which can cause issues for vision. The eyes of a motorist need time to get used to the dark.
Opvallen op de fiets
Now that you know that visibility in the dark can differ between motorists and cyclists, it is important to anticipate this! How do you do that? Use both active and passive lighting. Active lighting is lighting that gives light itself, like your bicycle lamp. Passive lighting, on the other hand, is lighting that lights up when light shines on it. Think of reflectors or reflective (rainwear)clothing. The more you apply, the more you stand out at any given time. The effect of active and passive lighting is shown in the image below. With dark clothing you are visible at 20 metres. Add your reflection on moving parts and you will be visible at 150 metres. With active lighting, on the other hand, you are visible with at least 500 metres!
Simple, but oh so important is bicycle lighting. Whether you grab the bike and cycle into work early in the day, or like to hit the gym or stores late in the evening, bicycle lighting is all about being seen and being able to see when you’re on your bike. But when do you actually turn on your bicycle lights? In other words, what should bicycle lighting comply with? Basically, in the Netherlands, it all comes down to the fact that during darkness (between sunset and sunrise) and in poor visibility, you need to have a front and rear light on. Your bike will also need to have reflectors on the back, pedals and wheels.
We have listed these essential bicycle lighting tips for you:
We advise you to always comply with the legal requirements when it comes to bicycle lighting. And beware, that can vary significantly between country. For example, the Dutch requirements are rather light. In Germany on the other hand, there’s a much stricter standard, the StVZO quality mark. As far as we’re concerned, the legal requirements are the bare minimum to consider. Your safety comes first. Therefore, make sure you remain visible at all times.
Bicycle lights aren’t only intended for the night, but also during the day. Why bother switching them
on during the daylight hours? We’ve two big reasons you should consider:
Your visibility also depends on contrast. Contrast in colours or reflective details. An important difference is the difference in visibility during the day and at night. In daylight, fluorescent clothing makes you stand out (you need the sun to do that!). In the dark, fluorescent clothing works just as well (or badly actually) as dark clothing. At night reflection ensures better visibility. Reflection is only visible when light shines directly on it. Like a car headlight, in fact.
Take, for example, Basil's rainwear. All jackets, trousers, suits and ponchos have reflection. The reflection can be found in several places on the items. So also on the moving parts, like your legs. So you are more visible in the dark. Even when it rains. The jackets from our collections even have ton sur ton reflection. Subtle reflection in the same colour as the jacket. Just as powerful as the well- known silver reflection, but less loud and above all very chic. Check out Basil's rainwear here.
Basil's bicycle raincoats contain ton-sur-ton reflection: subtle and chic.
Not only is it important to light up moving parts (you!), but also objects you take with you on your bike. Items could include a reflective bicycle bag or a bicycle basket. All our bags are equipped with reflective lines on the sides of the bag and reflective logo on the front as standard. Our baskets have a reflective logo as standard.
Many bags have extra reflective elements, so that you are even more visible. Whether you’re cycling to work, school or simply enjoying a relaxing bike ride, make sure your bag or basket is tailored to the occasion with adequate reflective accents. What’s more, parents can rest assured their little ones are visible as they cycle, enjoying optimum levels of cycling safety. Below we show you examples of bicycle accessories with extra reflection.
The elegant business bag from the Noir series equipped with reflective bag tassel
The Class children's basket with reflective band and reflective strip
For better visibility, various bags and baskets are equipped with Nordlicht Technology*. These aren’t intended to replace your regular bicycle lights, but instead to enhance your visibility in the dark. Nordlicht Technology is an LED strip that you can switch between red or white during the darker hours. The LED strip runs on batteries and is easy to operate. You may use these products with your existing lighting. Our Nordlicht Technology products also meet the German StVZO quality mark.
Kuiken, M. en Stoop, J. (2012). Verbetering van fietsverlichting. Verkenning van beleidsmogelijkheden. Delft: Rijkswaterstaat Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Milieu.
Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat (2018). Wat zijn de regels voor fietsverlichting en reflectie op een fiets? [Vraag en antwoord]. Retrieved from https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/fiets/vraag-en-antwoord/wat-zijn-de-regels-voor-fietsverlichting-en-reflectie-op-een-fiets
Moravia Druck + Verlag GmbH (2019). StVZO: 3. Andere Straßenfahrzeuge [Web page]. Retrieved from http://www.stvzo.de/stvzo/b6.htm
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Reurings, M.C.B. (2010). Hoe gevaarlijk is fietsen in het donker? Analyse van fietsongevallen naar lichtgesteldheid. Leidschendam: Stichting Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Verkeersveiligheid SWOV.
Trek (2019). ABC van bewuste zichtbaarheid. Zien en gezien worden [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.trekbikes.com/nl/nl_NL/abcs_of_awareness/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=blx_social&utm_campaign=blx_abc_biomotion&utm_content=link
Wood, J.M., Tyrrell, R.A., Marszalek, R., Lacherez, P. and Carerry, T. (2013). Bicyclists overestimate their own night-time conspicuity and underestimate the benefits of retroreflective markers on the moveable joints. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 55, 48-53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2013.02.033