In autumn and winter, the risk of accidents increases when cycling due to darkness, poor visibility or slippery roads. In addition, because of Corona, a particularly large number of people in the cities use the bike for trips to work or for private errands. An expert from ERGO gives safety tips on how best to get through the dark and wet season.
The right lighting
In order to ensure the safety of cyclists, there are legal regulations for sufficient bicycle lighting that are regulated in the road traffic regulations. After all, it is important to avoid accidents. “A white front light and a red rear light are mandatory,” says Dimitar Gouberkov, an accident expert at ERGO. Anyone who does not comply with these standards can expect a fine of 20 euros.
Tip: Additional LED lamps on the helmet improve visibility, but they are not mandatory.
Light-colored clothing and safety vests
Dark clothing is popular in the cold season, but other road users can hardly recognize you as a cyclist – this increases the risk of accidents massively! Therefore, wear light-colored clothing or a reflective safety vest when cycling. Reflector tapes are also suitable. Incidentally, these safety measures are recommended for all people who move outside in the dark (joggers, walkers).
When it is wet, but especially due to falling leaves as well as snow/slush, cycling can become a real slide in autumn and winter. You should therefore drive at a moderate pace and avoid rapid braking and steering maneuvers. Also, keep a sufficient distance from other road users so that you have sufficient braking distance. Particularly recommended: As for cars, there are also winter tires for wheels that have a deeper profile for more grip, i.e. traction. “Alternatively, cyclists can simply let some air out of the tires: This increases the surface area and the bike gets more grip on the road,” says accident expert Gouberkov.
Tips for e-bike riders
Because batteries lose their performance in the cold and wet, they should be protected as much as possible in autumn and winter. According to Gouberkov, it is best to park the e-bike in a dry and warm environment when the temperature is below freezing, or to take the battery with you to the office or home.