Quarter of cyclists in Switzerland don't use lights at night, BFU reveals
With the nights getting darker and darker, it’s more important than ever to be visible on Swiss roads and motorways. Unfortunately, a new survey from the Accident Prevention Bureau (BFU) has found that one in four cyclists in Switzerland choose to take to the road without lights.
One in four cyclists in Switzerland do without lights
In the report, the government found that one in four cyclists in Switzerland choose not to use lights at dusk or when it gets dark. What’s more, only 5 percent of cyclists wear reflective clothing at night to make them more visible to drivers.
The BFU noted that people riding bicycles of all types are 1,5 times more likely to suffer a road accident at night than they are during the day, a risk made significantly worse if the bikes are not lit and by the relative lack of cycle infrastructure in many Swiss cities. Pedestrians are twice as likely to be involved in an accident at night than during the day.
Users of e-bikes were found to be more conscientious when it comes to lights, with 98 percent of fast e-bike (limited to 50 kilometres per hour) and 91 percent of slow e-bike (limited to 25 km / h) users using them during the night. However, they also found that one in four 25 km / h e-bike users switch their lights off during the day, despite the fact that it has been compulsory for electric bicycles to be ridden with their lights on, even during the day, since 2022.
BFU calls on all road users to be visible at night
“Being clearly visible is decisive in reducing the risk of an accident. This is why motorised and non-motorized cyclists should not only have adequate lighting and switch it on but also wear a safety vest”, the BFU wrote. For regular cyclists, the BFU recommended equipping and using front and rear lights and reflectors.
For e-bike users, they also recommended wearing a safety vest. Finally, they called on motorists to keep their lights clean and on, slow down and watch out for cyclists on the road during the night, as the majority of cyclist injuries are caused thanks to a collision with a car or truck.