Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Are taillights necessary for daytime riding?

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Are taillights necessary for daytime riding?

Old 04-12-20, 03:36 PM
  #26  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 6,082

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1255 Post(s)
Liked 344 Times in 242 Posts
In heavy overcast, or close to dawn or dusk, lights are probably a good idea.

Bright sunshine? Bah, why bother? If you're worried about visibility, go for bright jerseys, jackets, or vests.

I haven't repeated this story for a year or two, which supports my point. Some years ago I was on a group tour. One rider had on bright green rain suit. I saw him as soon as I came around the curve at the bottom of a long hill, maybe a quarter mile away from him. I was riding slightly faster than he, so I slowly caught up. I was within perhaps 100 yards when I started seeing his seven (!) PB Super Flashes, all pulsing. Now some will point out that the newer versions put out twice as much light. Applying 1/r^2, I should have been able to see him from 144 yards back; still much nearer than the quarter mile away when the brightly colored garments caught my eye, under a tree canopy, and overcast and drizzling.

Go for the bright colors in your clothing, instead.
pdlamb is offline  
Old 04-12-20, 05:59 PM
  #27  
blackieoneshot 
Senior Member
 
blackieoneshot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: N Richland Hills TX
Posts: 126

Bikes: 1984 Schwinn Voyager SP, 1984 Lotus Legend Compe, 1989 Bridgestone RB-1, 1973 Monark, 2015 Surly Pacer

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 5 Posts
Another vote for the Cygolite hotshot 150. Great battery life, options for flash pattern/brightness, weatherproof, and very visible in full sun.
blackieoneshot is offline  
Likes For blackieoneshot:
Old 04-12-20, 07:02 PM
  #28  
350htrr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Canada, PG BC
Posts: 3,796

Bikes: 27 speed ORYX with over 39,000Kms on it and another 14,000KMs with a BionX E-Assist on it

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 981 Post(s)
Liked 32 Times in 31 Posts
I do NOT KNOW... BUT, when I put my lights on (flashing front and flashing rear,) I did seem to notice, some difference. People passing me, were passing me farther, away, and people pulling out in front of me stopped pulling out in front of me as much... JMO as I think about the differences since I put those lights on... again JMO...
350htrr is offline  
Likes For 350htrr:
Old 04-13-20, 12:25 PM
  #29  
squirtdad
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 7,151

Bikes: 85 team Miyata (modern 5800 105) , '84 Team Miyata,(dura ace old school) '82 nishiski,

Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1215 Post(s)
Liked 428 Times in 324 Posts
I want to be visible so yes flashing white in front and flashing red in back. The difference in visibility is huge.

I also drive with my lights on (not just DRL) at all times

I can see for myself the how much easier it see cyclist with lights and cars even in bright son with lights and on gray days bikes disappear
__________________
Looking for more time to ride what I have
squirtdad is offline  
Likes For squirtdad:
Old 04-17-20, 06:31 PM
  #30  
RidingMatthew 
Let's Ride!
 
RidingMatthew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Triad, NC USA
Posts: 2,514

Bikes: --2010 Jamis 650b1-- 2016 Cervelo R2-- 2018 Salsa Journeyman 650B

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 314 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 13 Posts
I don't think they are necessary for daytime but I do use them on the road.

Cygolite metro 550 on the front and cygolite hotshot 150 most of the time.
__________________
"Work to eat. Eat to live. Live to bike. Bike to work." --Anonymous ||| "late & alive > early & dead." ~Steely Dan
RidingMatthew is offline  
Old 04-17-20, 06:33 PM
  #31  
RidingMatthew 
Let's Ride!
 
RidingMatthew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Triad, NC USA
Posts: 2,514

Bikes: --2010 Jamis 650b1-- 2016 Cervelo R2-- 2018 Salsa Journeyman 650B

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 314 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 13 Posts
Wondering

Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
I want to be visible so yes flashing white in front and flashing red in back. The difference in visibility is huge.

I also drive with my lights on (not just DRL) at all times

I can see for myself the how much easier it see cyclist with lights and cars even in bright son with lights and on gray days bikes disappear
I am not trying to be a smart Alec but I was wondering why you run your headlights on your car with daytime running lights ?
__________________
"Work to eat. Eat to live. Live to bike. Bike to work." --Anonymous ||| "late & alive > early & dead." ~Steely Dan
RidingMatthew is offline  
Old 04-18-20, 11:28 AM
  #32  
squirtdad
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 7,151

Bikes: 85 team Miyata (modern 5800 105) , '84 Team Miyata,(dura ace old school) '82 nishiski,

Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1215 Post(s)
Liked 428 Times in 324 Posts
Originally Posted by RidingMatthew View Post
I am not trying to be a smart Alec but I was wondering why you run your headlights on your car with daytime running lights ?
good question, and not smart alec.......becuase I want the tail lights on also for that visibility.

driving with lights on was something my dad insisted on when I learned to drive in montana......you could see cars with headlights on literally miles earlier in dayight in many cases than you could cars with headlights off. Makes a difference in places where you have lot's of 2 lane roads and have to move to the other lane to pass
__________________
Looking for more time to ride what I have
squirtdad is offline  
Likes For squirtdad:
Old 04-18-20, 12:15 PM
  #33  
RidingMatthew 
Let's Ride!
 
RidingMatthew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Triad, NC USA
Posts: 2,514

Bikes: --2010 Jamis 650b1-- 2016 Cervelo R2-- 2018 Salsa Journeyman 650B

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 314 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 13 Posts
squirtdad thanks for the explanation. My brother in law used too but I am not sure if he still does run his lights all the time.

Last edited by RidingMatthew; 04-18-20 at 12:28 PM.
RidingMatthew is offline  
Old 04-18-20, 05:10 PM
  #34  
sdmc530
Heft On Wheels
 
sdmc530's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,773

Bikes: Specialized,Cannondale,Argon 18

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 746 Post(s)
Liked 303 Times in 223 Posts
I never ride without a light set up....ever.
sdmc530 is offline  
Likes For sdmc530:
Old 04-18-20, 05:24 PM
  #35  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 39,149

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 475 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6489 Post(s)
Liked 1,031 Times in 683 Posts
You can never know if your taillight works (to prevent a collision). You can only know if it does not work.

I use one pretty much all the time. I don't know how much difference it makes. But the cost is so low to own one and run it that it seems like good sense. I also use a headlight whenever I ride, for all the same reasons.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 04-18-20, 05:29 PM
  #36  
GeneO
Senior Member
 
GeneO's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: midwest
Posts: 2,459

Bikes: 2018 Roubaix Expert Di2, 2016 Diverge Expert X1

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 459 Post(s)
Liked 105 Times in 73 Posts
I think it works. A co-worker driving into work said he saw me 1/4 mi away.
GeneO is offline  
Old 04-18-20, 09:11 PM
  #37  
greatscott
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Indiana
Posts: 540

Bikes: 1984 Fuji Club, Suntour ARX; 2013 Lynskey Peloton, mostly 105 with Ultegra rear derailleur, Enve 2.0 fork; 2020 Masi Giramondo 700c, full Deore with TRP dual piston mech disk brakes

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 287 Post(s)
Liked 55 Times in 50 Posts
Well I guess that all depends if you think distracted driving is a problem.
greatscott is offline  
Old 04-19-20, 01:33 PM
  #38  
JaccoW
Tinkerer
 
JaccoW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Posts: 1,559

Bikes: Batavus Randonneur GL, Gazelle Orange Excellent, Gazelle Super Licht, Gazelle Grand Tourist

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 494 Post(s)
Liked 398 Times in 250 Posts
Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
good question, and not smart alec.......becuase I want the tail lights on also for that visibility.

driving with lights on was something my dad insisted on when I learned to drive in montana......you could see cars with headlights on literally miles earlier in dayight in many cases than you could cars with headlights off.
Originally Posted by RidingMatthew View Post
squirtdad thanks for the explanation. My brother in law used too but I am not sure if he still does run his lights all the time.
It's very common around here in the Netherlands for cars to ride with their headlights on. Much better visibility than daylight running lights though modern LED lights have mostly solved that issue.
In Scandinavia cars are required to do so at all times and most cars cannot even switch them off.

I remember riding in Southern Spain during summer with headlights on and other drivers signaling me my lights were on so it was definitely less common around there.

As such I can imagine it being rare if you go even further down south like California. Keep in mind that everything below Southern Spain is basically Northern Africa and the Sahara. And that is the same latitude as any state in the US below Oregon or Ohio.

I drove in North Carolina last year and found drivers to have really weird customs when it comes to lights anyway. Like turning on your fog lights in a heavy downpour (which will only blind people, as such it is prohibited in most of Europe) or turning on their alarm lights in the same conditions while still doing 60+ MPH. Is it preventive lights in case they crash?
And cars without rear window wipers.
JaccoW is online now  
Old 04-19-20, 03:59 PM
  #39  
bobwysiwyg
Senior Member
 
bobwysiwyg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: 961' 42.28° N, 83.78° W (A2)
Posts: 2,344

Bikes: Mongoose Selous, Trek DS

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 938 Post(s)
Liked 313 Times in 186 Posts
Originally Posted by greatscott View Post
Well I guess that all depends if you think distracted driving is a problem.
Personally, not only do I think it is, I know it is.

Last edited by bobwysiwyg; 04-19-20 at 04:16 PM.
bobwysiwyg is offline  
Likes For bobwysiwyg:
Old 04-19-20, 11:39 PM
  #40  
yamsyamsyams
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 291
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked 26 Times in 14 Posts
Think it really depends.

My commute used to be 9 miles of MUP bookended by roughly 0.5 miles of residential. I always turned on my light to the lowest flash or slow strobe or even steady so as not to blind other MUP users behind me, but it was far more important to have a headlight on the street since cars are going only slightly faster than me and have plenty of time to see me, however the same couldn’t be said about those turning into my path in front of me.

I also commute now by bike to multiple places for work, and in those more traffic heavy roads I definitely use a bright but slow flash still, I actually find drivers give me more room. As a driver I think the mentality here is that if it’s a crazy flash, no one wants to stay behind you for long and drivers can tend to get annoyed/aggressive.

if I’m riding in a peloton or group ride then it’s low slow strobe or nothing at all, the pack itself is visible to vehicles.
yamsyamsyams is offline  
Old 04-20-20, 12:15 AM
  #41  
ups
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 105
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked 27 Times in 19 Posts
Originally Posted by Imperatore View Post
All useful information, thank you.

This may sound like a dumb question, but I'm concerned about the super bright blinking, flashing taillight. Is this not a risk for epileptics? I'm a teacher and I have a student who's extremely sensitive to this, has a condition and faints to any strobe/flashing lights. So, obviously there will be others like this. Just a bit concerned about this. I suppose I don't have to use the blinking lights and just keep on the steady bright light and that should be fine.
I don't think active epileptics are allowed to drive.
ups is offline  
Likes For ups:
Old 04-20-20, 05:24 AM
  #42  
jsilvia
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Fairhaven Ma.
Posts: 95

Bikes: Trek Multitrac 750 . Motobacane Centry

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 14 Posts
Been using front and rear lights for the last 3 years. Never ride without them.
jsilvia is offline  
Likes For jsilvia:
Old 04-20-20, 09:00 AM
  #43  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 11,070

Bikes: Schwinn Paramount, Salsa Timberjack, Diamondback Expert TG, Burley Samba

Mentioned: 65 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2022 Post(s)
Liked 600 Times in 417 Posts
Originally Posted by ups View Post
I don't think active epileptics are allowed to drive.
Yeah, we're more worried about the drunks and texters. Let's not buy trouble.

Although technically if you are drunk or texting you are also not allowed to drive.
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is online now  
Old 04-20-20, 09:18 AM
  #44  
alo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 430
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 191 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 92 Times in 70 Posts
Some people ride in city traffic. Other people ride on off road trails. Those on off road trails don't need lights in the day time.
alo is offline  
Old 04-20-20, 10:02 AM
  #45  
Daniel4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,434

Bikes: Sekini 1979 ten speed racer

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 921 Post(s)
Liked 145 Times in 102 Posts
Originally Posted by alo View Post
Some people ride in city traffic. Other people ride on off road trails. Those on off road trails don't need lights in the day time.
And some people ride in city traffic to get to off road trails.
Daniel4 is offline  
Old 04-20-20, 10:24 AM
  #46  
kingston 
Jedi Master
 
kingston's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lake Forest, IL
Posts: 3,282

Bikes: https://stinkston.blogspot.com/p/my-bikes.html

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1450 Post(s)
Liked 241 Times in 160 Posts
I never run lights during the day and don't use blinking lights ever because they are obnoxious. Several of my bikes have dynamo lighting so I just have to flip a switch for the lights to come on, but I leave them off because they are unnecessary. On my one mile commute to the train station I don't use lights at all. I just wear one of those reflective vests like construction workers wear. Don't pass trucks or buses on the right and you'll be fine.
kingston is online now  
Old 04-20-20, 12:55 PM
  #47  
wphamilton
Senior Member
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 15,061

Bikes: Nashbar Road

Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2811 Post(s)
Liked 198 Times in 139 Posts
Tail lights: I say "yes" necessary if only because commuting, we can get caught riding twilight or dark working late, a forgotten meeting, errands, or unusual emergency. We don't necessarily need them on at all times (but why not anyway?)
wphamilton is offline  
Old 04-24-20, 06:21 AM
  #48  
commo_soulja
Senior Member
 
commo_soulja's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: C-Ville
Posts: 1,214

Bikes: are fun to ride

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 20 Times in 14 Posts
For commuting where I'm sharing a lane with a 2000+ lbs vehicle, a bright flashing red light in the rear is a requirement. I don't want some driver roll up and over me because they couldn't "SEE" me, especially during the early morning hours when cager zombies are still waking up and there's heavy early morning fog. My commute (when I was doing it post kung flu) was partially on main roads, with some residential and MUT mixed in. The road portions always had commuters, buses and large commercial trucks. I feel more at ease with a red blinky light protecting my backside.
commo_soulja is offline  
Old 04-24-20, 06:27 AM
  #49  
commo_soulja
Senior Member
 
commo_soulja's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: C-Ville
Posts: 1,214

Bikes: are fun to ride

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 20 Times in 14 Posts
Forgot to mention, now that we're on a work from home, I recently transferred a red blinky light onto my mountain bike so I could get to the local trail which is 10 miles from home with a small portion of that on regular streets. Parks are officially closed meaning you can't drive to recreate there but it's allowed if you can get there by foot or bike. I turn it off when I'm riding the trails and turn it back on for the trip back home.
commo_soulja is offline  
Old 04-24-20, 10:00 PM
  #50  
tFUnK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 2,699

Bikes: Too many bikes, too little time to ride

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 102 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 41 Posts
A PBSF was the go-to choice 10 years ago. Now I use much brighter lights, front and rear, during the day. I use flash mode, the slowest setting on lights with multiple flash modes. With so many distracted drivers nowadays it's no guarantee they'll see you even with daytime flashers.
tFUnK is offline  
Likes For tFUnK:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.