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Light up your ride to stay safe with LED lights

If you want to be safe when you're riding your bike, one of the best things you can do is to add lighting. Making yourself visible reduces your risk of getting injured in a crash and helps drivers avoid you on the road. Whether you plan to ride in a rural area or a busy city, having lights on your bike is just one of the ways you can be safer.

Having a light that emits a bright beam is important for cyclists. The brighter the light, the more likely it is you'll be seen and that drivers will think you are inside a larger vehicle. That illusion could help you avoid a collision by making others slow down, pull over or wait for you to pass.

LED lights for bicycles are only one option, but they're a good one. These LEDs consume little energy and have long lifespans. Additionally, they don't cost much, so they're easy to access and add to any bicycle you own. LEDs come in multiple brightnesses, defined by the number of lumens they emit. Powerful lights emit 800 lumens or more, but they may require an external battery to stay charged. Less-powerful lights may be recharged with USB cables or even with solar panels on your bike.

On top of having lights in the front, it's a good idea to attach a flashing rear safety light to the back of your bike. If a motor vehicle strikes you despite having all these features on your bike, you'll have a solid case against the dangerous driver.

Source: Popular Mechanics, "A Quick Guide to Lighting Up Your Bike," Robert Annis, accessed Nov. 08, 2017

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