I do, however, see a greatdeal of opinion masquerading as fact....never a good idea.
If you want to state, "Bicyclists are hit by motorists and frequently killed because the motorists don't see them," I'm good.
Why do I think that's not gonna be agreeable to you ?
I believe this has gone way off topic. Regardless of the circumstances two human beings who shared a passion that we all share, lost their lives. Whether it was due to improper lighting or driver error is not the most important part of this. It is that children lost their fathers, wives lost their husbands, and mothers lost their sons. Please keep that in mind while you argue the statistics of how and when our brethren perish.
I don't think there's any question that riding at night is more dangerous than riding in daylight. Even perfect vision is diminished by darkness. It's a risk you choose to take if you insist on riding after sundown.
As to whether riding "safely" with a full set of lights and reflectors makes you as visible at night as riding during the day, I think that's just wishful thinking. Certainly a thorough study could settle that theory, but personally I would have serious, serious doubts. I wouldn't bet a thin dime on it.
You said that 3% of the riding is at night, so it's a little more than twice as dangerous with respect to accidents. When you have an accident at night, it's more likely to be fatal. Seems reasonable. I'll speculate that riding drunk, ninja and/or salmon (your 23% of fatalities) is even more dangerous at night than in daytime.
Maybe none of which has any bearing on this tragedy. Police Lt. Darren Paul said that there were no immediate signs that the driver was impaired, crossing that off his list of possible causes I guess. . I think that the reason we as cyclists start looking at the cyclists in these accidents, and why we tend to fixate on lights, reflectors, helmets, riding "correctly" and even avoiding riding at night is because we don't want to accept that these accidents are sometimes random. It must have been something they did, that we wouldn't do, so it won't happen to us, or so we hope. But in reality I have no idea what actually happened there, and out of respect for those two guys and the people they left behind I'd rather not speculate.
Dead flat and wide open. One can see car lights a very long way at night. Someone wasn't following the rules. I doubt that the brightness of bike lights would have made any difference in this case. I do ride at night occasionally during events, but I don't like it.
Our local randonneuring club frequently rides all night. Thinking back on it, we have more problems in daylight. I think we slow down and are more cautious at night. Commuters do seem more likely to have serious accidents at night. Maybe the environment, maybe the number of cycling hours? In the city, most commuters I see are wearing black, very poorly lit, and take what are to me crazy chances. I understand that many bike commuters are doing it because of lack of funds or a DUI.
If you do ride at night, wear reflective clothing, a reflective Sam Browne belt, ankle bands, run the brightest lights you can (Dinotte are good), keep them charged, and act like a car.
Can anyone explain what happened? I looked at the Google map view but I still don't understand what happened.
In the dark I ride with bright lights, plenty of reflective clothing and a mirror. And even then I never feel as safe as I do in daylight.
What might be more valuable than speculation, or formulaic warnings of the hazards of night riding, is an accident reconstruction showing the position and speed of all the vehicles, and better yet a simulation done under the same light conditions to see what each person saw (or could or should have seen). That kind of reconstruction might show how and why the accident occurred, and how similar ones might be prevented.
Accidents like this are always sad, especially for those close to the people involved. They might be used to gain insights, but shouldn't be capitalized on by people trying to send some kind of message.
BTW- don't take anything I said here, except for a sense of sadness, as applying to this specific accident. I have no idea about whether the cyclists were properly lit or not, nor of the their lane positions, speed and direction, or any issue of possible cause. My post is simply to counter the notion that night riding is unreasonably dangerous. Many of have to do it as 4 season commuters, or at other times, and it can be as safe or risky as we make it.
The most visible cyclists I've ever seen, while driving, were at night. Machka figured out they were in the early stages of a randonee... we just crossed paths up at Hood Canal in WA. They could not possibly be missed. A pack of 6-8 riders was WAY brighter than any car, or cars. Lesson: it is possible to be ridiculously visible at night on a bike in this day of LED's.
I run lights that are intended to be annoying to motorists in daylight. I will not die, because I didn't get noticed, over $100.
My heart hurts for the guys that got hit. An obvious lesson is: BE SEEN! I expect they'd agree, hindsight being 20/20 and all.
why would anyone want to ride in the dark? i do it if i mis-time a ride or if i stick to a mup.
Regardless of the stats and horror stories, cycling is still safer than blobbing on the couch, day or night.
Thoughts for the families of these guys.
I don't know what happened in the accident in the article. Maybe there was an error in judgement on the part of the driver, the cyclists or both. And sometimes there are weird circumstances that lead to accidents.
But as someone who rode 5K miles in all weather conditions and in the dark for many years on two lane highways where a number of other cyclists were killed, there is nothing particularly unsafe about it. If you have proper lighting and attire, you are easily visible at much greater distances than you are in the daylight.
I would go so far as to say that I think riding in the dark is considerably safer than riding in bright sun (a serious safety problem that few people think about) if done properly.
We understand you're uncomfortable riding at night but many of us who regularly ride in the dark are comfortable with the risk.