Stay Safe In Low Light
Winter is coming. And in Oregon, that means it’ll be dark, wet and hard to see much of the time.
Heading to transit?
We work hard to get you where you need to go, safely. There’s a few things you can do to stay safe as well.
Just because there was daylight when you left the house doesn’t mean it’ll be light when you return. Make sure you have what you need to stay safe and visible with you at all times.
Stand well away from the road while you're waiting, and stay in the bus shelter if there is one.
…but make sure the driver can see you!
Is there a street lamp by the bus stop? Stand under it as the bus approaches to make yourself more visible.
Make sure the operator can see you and knows you’re waiting for the bus. Waive your cellphone’s flashlight at the bus as it approaches. Light colored clothing can also make you more visible after dark.
Did you know
If you are traveling between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., you can ask the operator to stop anywhere safe along your route — not just at designated stops. Just let the operator know a block or two in advance.
Tips for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians
All of us — drivers, cyclists and pedestrians — have a role to play to get where we’re going safely.
Be especially alert for pedestrians and cyclists. You’re in the larger and faster vehicle — it’s your responsibility to avoid collisions.
Give it your all (attention, that is)
Driving requires your full attention. According to AAA, taking your eyes off the road for even two seconds doubles your risk of getting into a crash.
Complete all personal tasks before or after getting behind the wheel. If it doesn’t involve you paying attention to the road, it can wait.
Leave the phone alone
Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. It’s illegal in Oregon to hold a mobile device while driving.
Have a passenger help you if you need directions. Otherwise, pull over somewhere safe before you check your phone.
When visibility is low, give yourself more time to react. Slow down. It’s better to get there safe but late than not at all.
You’ll often be sharing the road with cars, buses, pedestrians and more. Make sure your visibility game is strong so drivers can see you. And be on the lookout for pedestrians and drivers who may be distracted or not as visible as they should be.
Have the right bike lights
By law you must have a light in front and a red reflector in the back, before sunrise and after sunset. But don't stop there — add more than what’s required.
Don’t be afraid to dress up your bike to make it easier for others to see you. Put reflective stickers or tape on handlebars, spokes, helmets and backpacks. Light yourself up!
Slap a reflective band on your arm, leg or ankle
Using reflective bands is an easy way to add reflection to your body (and keep your pants out of your bike chain). These can be seen from all angles, meaning they’re more likely to attract drivers’ attention. Some bands even include lights!
Invest in proper gear
Bright outerwear such as vests and jackets come in neon, fluorescent and reflective colors and patterns, so you can choose a set to match your style.
It can be difficult for drivers to spot pedestrians during our dark rainy winters even if they’re paying attention… and we all know that many drivers are not paying full attention to the road, unfortunately. To stay safe, make sure everyone else on the road can’t miss you.
Go for outerwear and accessories that feature reflective material — there are reflective coats, jackets, scarves, caps, gloves, hats, umbrellas and more.
Layer with a reflective vest
It’s easy to throw a lightweight, reflective vest or sash over your coat. Check out the selection at outdoor, sports and bike stores.
Add flexible reflectors with Velcro to purses, laptop cases, shoes, zipper pulls and backpacks. Lights come in all sizes — some attach easily to strollers, wheelchairs, backpacks and purses.