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Tips for safe outdoor activities after dark

Posted at 8:58 PM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 00:28:06-05

It gets darker earlier at this time of year, but that doesn’t stop people from exercising outside or looking at holiday lights.

If you are going out at night to ride a bike or go for a run, it’s important to wear clothing that makes you stand out.

Josh Cohen, owner of Foothill Cyclery, has been riding bikes since he was five. Whether he rides during the day or at night, he never goes without his reflective lights.

“Having the lights on at night or during the day, there’s always that contrast spot to your background regardless of where the headlights are pointed or regardless of where the driver is looking,” Cohen said.

Some lights can be seen two miles away, even in the daytime.

“There’s going to be a bright obnoxious spot. The idea is to get their attention,” Cohen added.

He says it’s important to wear bright, fluorescent gear like a neon yellow jacket if you are going to go out and exercise during the daytime.

However, if you want to go out at night for a bike a ride or a run, it’s more important to wear reflective gear and lights so people and cars can see you.

That’s because lights are visible when they’re turned on, whereas bright clothing needs lights shined on it to be seen in the dark.

Police say they usually see an increase in pedestrian and bike accidents during this time of year.

“I would recommend that people run on the sidewalk and follow the lights at the traffic intersections,” said Lt. John Bledsoe, San Luis Obispo Police Department. “If they are going to run in the street, I don’t recommend that, but run facing traffic so you can see the cars coming in front of you.”

It’s also important for drivers to be aware of their surroundings.

“A good set of lights will make the difference between seeing that pothole or that rock or that stick and not seeing that pothole, that rock or that stick,” Cohen said.

It could also be the difference between life and death.

It’s also the time of year to take your family to see holiday lights.

To keep the kiddos safe, police recommend keeping them close and dressing them in light-up or reflective clothing.

There are a number of stores in San Luis Obispo County that sell reflective clothing and clip-on lights.