Why Should Cyclists Be Interested in Daylight Visible Flash?

Video Transcription:

Jim Dodson: Hey, it's Jim Dodson, The Florida Bike Guy. So why should you be interested in DVF, which is daylight visible flash? I got an interesting little discussion we're gonna have this morning about a new light from NiteRider. It's a company I really like and I've used their products. And we're also gonna give away the Cycliq Fly12 from our big contest about your favorite places to ride in Florida. So a big thank you to everyone who responded to that. We have great information and we're gonna publish that. We're collating it and we're gonna put that out in a form that's usable, which I really appreciate everyone's response.

So this is a little bit of a reminder to us about daylight visible flash. If you've heard me speak, you've seen me write, you know that I am a huge proponent of having a light on your bike during the daylight and having that light in flash mode. Lot of data about how successful that is in increasing your chances of being seen and decreasing your chances of being hit by a car that never noticed you. I've seen data from 55 to a 45% decrease in crashes with people who use daylight visible flash. So the question then becomes: So how much light do you use during the daylight?

I've been a fan of NiteRider myself for many years, and I think my first light was this little NiteRider, this is a 450. These are all internally rechargeable. This is a small light, 450 lumens. It's quite bright. Quite frankly what I do with lights that I'm not currently using on my bike, this is a great flashlight. It's small, can stick it in your suitcase when you travel, put it by the bed at night. You think about it, you don't have batteries that go bad, you recharge it in the kitchen when you have an opportunity to, and they are a very intense light. They're perfect for a flashlight, as well as on your bike.

And currently what I have on my bike is this 550, which I think I'm guilty of, everyone, I'd buy a light, I use it, I'm not thinking about replacing it. Well, they've gotten brighter and brighter and more and more lumens every year that goes by. So I've had this one for a couple years. So 550 is still a bright light. It's bigger, of course, than the 450. So we've reached out to NiteRider, and this is a great San Diego company, great American company, and told 'em we were wanting to do this program and asked 'em if they had any products that they wanted to share with us. And they sent us this amazing 1200. They got a little reflection here on the screen. But this is a 1200 lumen light. It's still internally with a battery. I'll pull it out here. We'll do a little unveil on the screen. Now, what they're talking about for this is, obviously the brighter the lumens when you're riding, the shorter battery life you're gonna have. They talk about the 1200 as being a boost function. So when you need an extra boost of light, you've got it in the 1200. So this is only slightly bigger. Sorry. This is only slightly bigger than the 500, the 550 that I'm currently using, but over twice as bright. Only slightly heavier. It actually, this one has a little feature on the top where you can see what you've dialed up, in terms of reusage, and I think it actually shows you how much battery life you have, where you have it set. So you could ride this at 600 or 700 or whatever you wanted. You'll know how many hours you get out of it, and if you're a person who takes off in the morning before it's light and you need extra light on the road ahead of you for the first 45 minutes, 30 minutes, you put it on 1200, and I guarantee you you will see everything on the road ahead of you.

So remember the purpose of this light, any daylight running light, is to make you stand out from all of the visual clutter that the driver has in their visual field when they're making their maneuver, it's going to affect you potentially. You gotta stand out. It has to be instantaneous. They've gotta recognize you as a cyclist on a bike and they've gotta take action to avoid you, not make that move, not make that turn. So everything that we, as cyclists, do to increase our visibility, make us stand out, increases the chances of you enjoying your ride and getting home without incident.

So if you, it's very interesting. So several years ago I did an article about Bill Walton, who is the former Portland Trail Blazers center. Bill was a star back in, I think in the '70s probably, perhaps the '80s. Big guy, red hair. But he is a huge cyclist. He's not a fast rider, but he rides his bike everywhere and lives in San Diego, and he's a spokesman for NiteRider. And if you go to their website, you'll see a very interesting video by Bill Walton, standing there with his bike on his shoulder, talking about why he rides with a light during the day and how important it is to ride with a flashing light during the day. And I would encourage you to go to the NiteRider, N-I-T-E-R-I-D-E-R, site and kinda look at the video by Bill Walton. I think it'll be a reminder, an encouragement, for us to take his message seriously, and it's part of their overall daylight visibility campaign, with the flashing mode of your light on the handlebars ahead of you.

So the other thing we wanna do today is pull a name. So I've got the names of people who entered the contest here in this great bag that Kati gave to me, and we are going to give away the Fly12. This is a $279 value. It's right on the back of the box. This is a front-facing camera, and I just had somebody send me a video yesterday of a close call that occurred, captured on their front-facing camera. This is his wife riding ahead of this guy who had a camera on his bike. She narrowly avoided broadside by a car, but this front-facing camera caught everything. So our hope is that this is gonna be a tool in the hands of someone to educate drivers who do the wrong thing, to educate police when you are confronting a driver who did the wrong thing. Hopefully it doesn't result in a collision. We're pleased and happy to be able to give away this very quality product, and I wanna thank everyone who participated in our contest. And as soon as we get your name, we'll get this out to you right away, and I hope you enjoy it and think of us when you ride it. I'm gonna reach into our bag of names that Kati has provided for me, and we'll come up with, it's folded very small. It's Richard Lawrence. So Kati has Richard's contact information and we'll either call or email Richard today and let him know that he's won and we'll get this light out to you, and this camera out to you right away, Richard. Thank you again for entering.

So that's what I wanted to talk about today. I want you to be safe. We're giving away, actually is our offer today, sign up for our bike newsletter. We do a newsletter every month. Last month, for the month of October, I was in trial in Fort Myers and getting ready and trying a case. I didn't get my newsletter out. I'm working on the one that we're gonna get out in the next couple weeks. So I hope you enjoy it, and if you have ideas for content, I'm always open for interesting ideas. You shoot us an email. But sign up. Kati's got the link on there, from the bit.ly link, to get our Florida Bike newsletter, and it's been great talking to you.

Get your light, turn it on during the day. Get the brightest light you think you can afford. One observation. This five, the current model below the 1200 is the 650. It retails in most places, I think, for $49. The 1200 retails for $149, approximately, so $100 more. So my question would be: As you consider buying a light, is it worth the $100 to increase your safety odds by a substantial margin with the brightest light you can get? I think it is. I think it's a small investment in safety and I would encourage all of us to look very seriously at taking that investment.

So Jim Dodson, The Florida Bike Guy. Thanks for being here. I'll look for you on the road. Take care, bye.

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Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.