The visibility of cyclists riding in poor light conditions or at night is a big factor in this. By fitting your bike with a white front light and a rear red light you have more chance of being seen by other road users.
More cycle accidents occur between May and September than October to April. However, the casualty rate in terms of miles travelled is higher over the autumn and winter period.
Since 2005 the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations (RVLR) have deemed the use of flashing cycle lights acceptable on the highway. To meet the legal standards of the RVLR, flashing lights have to emit a minimum output of four candela (so in effect it’s as bright as four candles). Flashing lights are also required to flash at an equal and constant rate of between 60 and 240 flashes per minute.
Choosing a light
To make things more complicated, the regulations set requirements suitable for riding in areas with street lighting. Therefore, RVLR lights are not required to provide any ‘beam of light’. Although lights meeting the RVLR standards can make you more visible to other road users, they may be pretty useless cycling down a dark road or unlit cycle way.
The best option is to focus on the different lighting conditions you experience whilst cycling on the road. Cyclists who follow main roads and generally ride in urban town centres will do so in areas with street lighting and are unlikely to need an additional light with a beam.
In contrast commuter cyclists mixing up urban areas, quiet roads and off road cycle routes would benefit from doubling up, fitting both flashing lights and a beam to shine on the road surface.
For the mountain biker there are lights to flood the trail and give your car lights a run for their money. However they come with a more expensive price tag compared to a standard light set.