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  1. #51
    Senior Member hshearer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    Ummm, already is. Even the anti-cyclists make fun of the 'bumblebee' look.
    I disagree that wearing bright clothing is mainstream amongst cyclists (and I'm talking all cyclists, not just enthusiasts). Helmets are mainstream, adequate lighting is getting to be pretty commonplace, but if you look at the majority of cyclists, bright clothing isn't a priority. I think there's a lot of room for improvement there.

  2. #52
    rwp
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    Lots of times drivers see something, but their minds don't register that something is in their path and they better do something or they're going to hit it.

    A driver may be sitting at a side street, waiting to enter a roadway, see a rider coming down the roadway, the rider is visible and has the right of way, but go anyway. Same thing with a driver waiting for a left turn or even immediately after overtaking a rider making a right turn in the riders path as if the overtaken rider suddenly ceased to exist. These are all very common scenarios.
    Yeah, I hear you. I've got the broken bones to testify to that. It seemed to me that you were saying that being seen wasn't important if some drivers didn't react properly to seeing a cyclist. I was saying that at least seeing the cyclist was the first step, reacting properly was the second and that hi viz clothing was an important part of step 1. At least if he sees the cyclist, the driver's got a chance at achieving step 2 as well.

    I think we're saying the same thing.

  3. #53
    Tawp Dawg GriddleCakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crhilton View Post
    Incidentally, keep it in your pants on the bike. It's the law.
    Wait, so if I get off the bike and walk, I can let my dingle dangle? What's the law regarding skateboarding and nudity? I'm uncomfortable with public exposure unless I have some sort of speedy get-away vehicle. Otherwise I just get mobbed by all the member-mesmerized ladies. And police.

    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    Yeah. I don't know. Do the test and reconsider how important what you wear is compared to what people see when they look right at it

    http://www.youtube.com/watch#playnex...&v=Ahg6qcgoay4
    Quote Originally Posted by annc View Post
    I guess we need a dancing bear with hi-viz clothing to answer the OP's question.
    Seriously, how many more people do you think would pass that test if the bear was wearing a dayglo vest, instead of just blending in with the other dark apparelled players?

  4. #54
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwp View Post
    Yeah, I hear you... I think we're saying the same thing.
    I agree.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  5. #55
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GriddleCakes View Post
    ... Seriously, how many more people do you think would pass that test if the bear was wearing a dayglo vest, instead of just blending in with the other dark apparelled players?
    probably not many.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  6. #56
    Tawp Dawg GriddleCakes's Avatar
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    I liked the ad when I first saw it, and I still think it clever. But I don't think that it work nearly as well if the bear: a) entered the camera and then stopped moving and b) was a color other than the colors worn by the two teams. The bear is aided in blending in by being a dark colored moving figure in a field half full of dark colored moving figures. Try pausing the video while the bear is on screen, and even in still frame he doesn't stand out that much.

    I think that two lessons can be taken from the video. Drivers need to broaden their focus to include objects beyond other motorized traffic, and cyclists would benefit from attempting to stand out from their environment.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by GriddleCakes View Post
    Seriously, how many more people do you think would pass that test if the bear was wearing a dayglo vest, instead of just blending in with the other dark apparelled players?
    The dancing bear video is based on an actual research study so the answer is probably in study somewhere.

  8. #58
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    People give me more room when I have taillights; especially at night (I usually have them on within 2 hours of sunset as well, so I'm counting that time).

    For the record, the only time I was in an accident with a car was when I was wearing my [then new] fluorescent yellow jersey in daylight.

  9. #59
    Tawp Dawg GriddleCakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annc View Post
    The dancing bear video is based on an actual research study so the answer is probably in study somewhere.
    Wow. Well, I'm dead wrong, for one. Plus, there's this:

    "...it appears that observers are more likely to notice an unexpected event that shares basic visual features-in this case, color-with the events they are attending to. In a sense, this effect is the opposite of the traditional `pop-out' phenomenon in visual search tasks, which occurs when an item that differs in basic visual features from the rest of the display is easier to notice and identify."

    Which suggests that hi-vis clothing will have the opposite of the intended effect, I think.
    Last edited by GriddleCakes; 02-23-10 at 05:49 PM.

  10. #60
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Just ride with and without. Personally I think I get another couple of feet passing distance with the vest. However, it's hard for me to judge these days because I also run a Dinotte, which also DEFINITELY generates a lot more passing room - between the vest and the Dinotte, people not only pull over into the far side of the far lane to pass, they actually often slow down (I ride 60 MPH roads).
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  11. #61
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    How safe is high-visibility clothing?
    Have you known a high-visibility vest to attack its wearer?

    -Kurt

  12. #62
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GriddleCakes View Post
    Wow. Well, I'm dead wrong, for one. Plus, there's this:

    "...it appears that observers are more likely to notice an unexpected event that shares basic visual features-in this case, color-with the events they are attending to. In a sense, this effect is the opposite of the traditional `pop-out' phenomenon in visual search tasks, which occurs when an item that differs in basic visual features from the rest of the display is easier to notice and identify."

    Which suggests that hi-vis clothing will have the opposite of the intended effect, I think.
    A while ago I read



    If I remember right, I believe it says something about how it is that drivers just don't see what's right in front of them.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  13. #63
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Just scanning bikesnobNYC and saw this

    Hit-and-run driver claimed he didn't see 6-foot-tall orange rabbit on the pedicab

    Pedicab driver Kate Altermatt still can't believe the driver of a Mercedes didn't see her pedaling down Northwest Fourth Avenue last Easter. Altermatt, who is 6 feet tall, was wearing a bright orange bunny suit, and the Cascadia Pedicab was lit up with reflectors and a blinking red light.

    "I was very visible," she said. ...
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  14. #64
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    Here's a study on motorcyclist safety as a function of the visibility of clothing, helmet color, and use of daytime headlights:
    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/328/7444/857
    Bright clothing seemed to be the most effective.

    But, as I and others have noted above, there are issues with such studies since there may well be other differences between riders who choose to wear conspicuous clothing and those who don't. It's the same problem that exists with case-control studies of helmet effectiveness in crashes.

  15. #65
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    Yeah. I don't know. Do the test and reconsider how important what you wear is compared to what people see when they look right at it.
    Hahaha ... I can't open the youtube link at work due to network restrictions. But from subsequent comments, I'll guess you are talking about counting passes while the bear moonwalks through the crowd.

    But before that, you might want to reconsider whether people can avoid things they can't physically see. The example with the bear is only relevant to the question of whether drivers are looking for cyclists -- or perhaps motorcyclists -- in certain environments.

    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    A while ago I read



    If I remember right, I believe it says something about how it is that drivers just don't see what's right in front of them.
    What I recall is that being noticed is also a function of whether someone is looking for something or whether that someone has an expectation that something will be there. The example that comes to mind had to do with color if I am not mistaken.

    Of course, whether a driver notices that "something" is probabalistic. It would be about the interaction between enough light physically reaching the driver and the cognitive function of the driver.

    Prob(Noticed) = Prob("physically seeing object"|amount of light reflected) * Prob("cognitively aware of object"|physically seeing object)

    Given the context of the common motivation for high-viz clothing, I assume that we are talking about low-light situations. In low-light environments, the effect on the first component is pretty large -- I don't have any cites handy, but I doubt that this is a controversial statement. Now perhaps there is some perverse circumstance where bright-yellow (or whatever) is far less likely to be noticed than something with poor reflectivity, but I suspect that other than the length of time that the cyclist is "visible" -- I would say that the longer one is physically visible, the greater the chance that a driver will become aware of the cyclist -- wearing high-rez material doesn't affect the second component in a negative manner. In VA, simply based on anecdotal observations, state and local employees working on roads or the side of roads often wear high-viz clothing and traffic cones/markers often have reflective material. So one might think that drivers might expect to see such material on roads making them more likely to cognitively notice it.

    Now it is the case that if the second component is very small, then big changes in the first component will have little effect on the probability of being noticed. But I find it hard to believe that this probability will be very low. Drivers would be smashing into all sorts of things at a high frequency if it were the case.

  16. #66
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    Using this in the context of a discussion on visibility's effect on collisions reminds me of people exhorting that their helmet saved their life after a collision/fall.

  17. #67
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    Using this in the context of a discussion on visibility's effect on collisions reminds me of people exhorting that their helmet saved their life after a collision/fall.
    can't argue with that. Just one example.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 02-24-10 at 11:36 AM.
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  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    Here's a study on motorcyclist safety as a function of the visibility of clothing, helmet color, and use of daytime headlights:
    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/328/7444/857
    Bright clothing seemed to be the most effective.

    But, as I and others have noted above, there are issues with such studies since there may well be other differences between riders who choose to wear conspicuous clothing and those who don't. It's the same problem that exists with case-control studies of helmet effectiveness in crashes.
    Thank you prathmann, very informative and useful!
    According the cited study, fluorocent or reflective clothing reduces risk of injury (for motorcyclists in New Zealand in 1993-1996) about 37%. Use of colors in jackets (frontal clothing) did not show association with risk of injury.

    According to these results I've had it all wrong. Using high-visibility clothing is a big factor (at least for motorcyclists in New Zealand) and "bright colored normal clothes" doesn't help.
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  19. #69
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Wasn't it Hurst, in "The Art of Urban Cycling" who wrote that a motorist can be looking straight at you but all that's registering in the mind of that motorist is that song that was playing earlier in the day ("Do you line Pina Colda's? ... Gettin' caught in the rain?")
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    Quote Originally Posted by j3ns View Post
    I do understand that it is common sense that more visibility helps. But how much in percents, or injuries per cycled miles, or something else concrete? Does false security play a role in this matter? Do we act more recklessly or trust the drivers more if we have our vests on?
    Bicycle/car collisions are very rare and the data for the non-fatal ones are poorly collected and not reported in a way that would allow for analyisis.

    Quote Originally Posted by j3ns View Post
    I do understand that it is common sense that more visibility helps. But how much in percents, or injuries per cycled miles, or something else concrete? Does false security play a role in this matter? Do we act more recklessly or trust the drivers more if we have our vests on?
    Being more visibile has a benefit at long/medium range distances. You can certainly measure the distance at which things of various levels of visibility are detected.

    =============

    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    If I remember right, I believe it says something about how it is that drivers just don't see what's right in front of them.
    You aren't remembering right. Sometimes, drivers don't "see" things that they should be seeing.

    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    Wasn't it Hurst, in "The Art of Urban Cycling" who wrote that a motorist can be looking straight at you but all that's registering in the mind of that motorist is that song that was playing earlier in the day ("Do you line Pina Colda's? ... Gettin' caught in the rain?")
    See following:

    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    Using this in the context of a discussion on visibility's effect on collisions reminds me of people exhorting that their helmet saved their life after a collision/fall.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 02-27-10 at 09:23 AM.

  21. #71
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    You aren't remembering right.
    well, I did say "If" and "something"

    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    See following:
    and I also said, "can't argue with that"
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  22. #72
    Senior Member
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    Lots of cyclists ride at night in dark clothes without lights or reflectors without getting killed. This speaks to the care and vigilence of motorists. Lights and reflective clothing increases your safety, but LEDs are very directional so provide little help if they are not mounted well.

  23. #73
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Who will look at the dead bodies of cyclists and record the type of clothing they wear?

    My ex.













    She used to be a coroner.
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  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewP View Post
    Lots of cyclists ride at night in dark clothes without lights or reflectors without getting killed. This speaks to the care and vigilence of motorists.
    It might also speak to the ability of these cyclists to position themselves in locations on the roadway, select routes, or otherwise take measures where being seen by motorists is not critical for safety. I think many of these cyclists are aware of the added risks of being un-illuminated, even in the well-lit urban realm.

    Is there anyone here who hasn't, at some point, had headlights fail and ridden home anyways? You had reflectors you say? Then did all the motorists that you encountered have functional, properly-aimed headlights that shone on your reflectors at the correct angle for functionality? Are you sure?

    I've been caught out and ridden home probably dozens of times.

    Less than idea? Certainly.

    Was I reliant solely on motorist vigilance to prevent my demise? Hardly.

  25. #75
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    In most locations one can travel by bicycle fully invisible in a safe (from other vehicles) manner, it is just not very effective.

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