After Dark: Late Night Commute Tips
VIA provides late-night service to downtown riders. Source: VIA Metropolitan Transit
by Lily Lowder
November 23, 2020
Thanks to Daylight Savings Time, commuters are experiencing twilight commutes more frequently. Whether you have a late-night schedule or you just got caught up at the office, here are some tips for how you can commute safely and comfortably at night.
Biking late at night can be enjoyable due to increased traffic on roadways, however, cyclists should take care to make sure they are visible to drivers.
- Use a white headlight that is visible for 500 feet and a red reflector or taillight visible from 300 feet are required by law when riding at night.
- Wear bright colors and/or reflective gear.
- Add sidelights or reflectors on wheels to be more visible.
- A stronger headlight (300 lumens or above) is recommended on trails, where light is low and is much darker at night compared to city streets.
- If using a dockless vehicle or personal bike, be sure to park in well-lit areas.
If you'd like to feel more comfortable biking on roadways, you can attend our free Street Skills bicycle safety class. You'll also receive a free helmet and set of bike lights!
Whether you're driving alone or carpooling, follow these tips to combat visibility issues and fatigue while driving at night.
- Make sure your headlights are clean and clean your windshield to eliminate streaks.
- Look away from oncoming lights and if you wear glasses, make sure they're anti-reflective.
- Avoid drowsy driving; don't drive if you've been awake for 16 hours or more.
- Slow down to compensate for limited visibility and reduced stopping time.
- Even though your commute route may be familiar, do not go on autopilot. Stay alert while driving.
- If you're a carpool, vanpool or rideshare passenger. Do not distract the driver, but make sure they're staying attentive.
While we do only one quarter of our driving at night, 50% of traffic deaths happen at night. It doesn't matter whether the road is familiar or not, driving at night is always more dangerous. - National Safety Council
Enjoy late night transit service by following these tips to improve your comfort level.
- Know the bus-schedule for late night service. VIA Metropolitan Transit provides late night service for the downtown line-up.
- If you're worried the bus driver won't see you at your stop, you can signal them by briefly flashing your phone's light or wearing reflective material.
- Many public transit operations will offer courtesy stops — stops between regular stops — after dark. Ask the driver if it's possible to be let off closer to your destination so that you don't have as far to walk.
- After exiting the bus, look carefully before crossing the street. Drivers may have a more difficult time seeing you at night.
Working past the late night bus schedule? If you've taken alternative transportation to work and have unexpected overtime or other emergency, Alamo Commutes will pay for your taxi/Uber/Lyft emergency ride home.
Savor the solitude of walking at night by following these tips to improve visibility and safety.
- Wear light-colored or reflective clothing. Or add reflective devices and materials to your outfit or bag.
- Cross intersections safely. Only cross when the “start crossing” symbol is on and wait for drivers to come to a full-stop before moving.
- Yield to motor vehicles when crossing mid-block and do not walk in the street if a sidewalk is provided.
- Stay alert. Avoid using phones or electronic devices while walking.
If you're commuting after dark, follow these tips for traveling safely and comfortably across different modes. Stay visible; stay alert; and be prepared. And don't forget to take advantage of Alamo Commutes' Emergency Ride Home if needed!
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.