First sentence: "Conspicuity limitations make bicycling at night dangerous." Right. I like how its the fault of the cyclists for "not being conspicuos enough" rather than the fault of the driver for plowing into him.
Perhaps that is part of why newbies seem to get hit more often than folks who have been around the block a time or two.Additionally, occasional bicyclists judged themselves to be more visible than did frequent bicyclists.
Interesting that retroreflective material on ankles / knees makes so much difference to the actual recognition distance. Ankle bands are usually the part of my 'dark' gear that I'm least likely to bother to put on. I guess that should change.
IMO, nothing new, different, or in the least surprising in the abstract. More interesting would be a study on what compels many riders to be so obtuse about this.
'82 Nishiski commuter/utility
'83 Torpado Super Strada ... cafe commuter
'89 Miyata 1400
Soma rush Fixie
06 Haro x3 (son's bmx)
Electra cruiser (wife's bike)
Yeah, that's what surprised me - the original set of 'acquisition distances' (which as JonnyHK says, are from an earlier study). 20m for dark clothing and no reflectives. Even with a 20mph closure rate (15mph bike and 35mph car) that's only a couple of seconds. The ankle/knee reflectors triple that distance (40 to 120m) vs just a reflective vest.
This holds up with my personal experiences.
I saw a cyclist with ankle reflectors and the up-down motion made it immediately obvious that there was a cyclist way before I could actually see the rider or the bike.
Of course most states require bikes ridden at night to have pedal and spoke reflectors, specifically because the motion makes them much more conspicuous.
Another article on this topic from the same authors
Wood, J. M., Tyrrell, R. A., Marszalek, R., Lacherez, P., Carberry, T., & Chu, B. S. (March 01, 2012). Using reflective clothing to enhance the conspicuity of bicyclists at night. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 45, 726-730.
This article shows that young drivers are able to recognize a cyclist before the elderly (who shouldn't be driving IMO past 60). See the attachment Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 10.48.08 AM.pngand Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 10.51.51 AM.png
Reflexite REF-DB Retroreflective Daybright Tape along the length of the crankarms, both sides, so that a solid line of reflective tape is seen while pedaling. I also put the tape throughout the span of both planet bike fenders + parts of the rear rack. It is very reflective! I've had several motorists complement how bright I am in the back (also probably due to the three hotshots).
Arnaud Koustana´, Emmanuelle Boloix, Pierre Van Elslande, Claude Bastien, Statistical analysis of “looked-but-failed-to-see” accidents: Highlighting the involvement of two distinct mechanisms, Accident Analysis & Prevention, Volume 40, Issue 2, March 2008, Pages 461-469, ISSN 0001-4575, 10.1016/j.aap.2007.08.001.
Cale B. White, Jeff K. Caird, The blind date: The effects of change blindness, passenger conversation and gender on looked-but-failed-to-see (LBFTS) errors, Accident Analysis & Prevention, Volume 42, Issue 6, November 2010, Pages 1822-1830, ISSN 0001-4575, 10.1016/j.aap.2010.05.003.
Mai-Britt Herslund, Niels O J°rgensen, Looked-but-failed-to-see-errors in traffic, Accident Analysis & Prevention, Volume 35, Issue 6, November 2003, Pages 885-891, ISSN 0001-4575, 10.1016/S0001-4575(02)00095-7.
Last edited by agent pombero; 04-11-13 at 12:07 PM.
Reflective tape if used well has one other huge advantage, it can be put on to provide reflection from all angles. Most reflectors and lights are only in front and behind.
Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.
And it is the responsibility of human beings not to kill, maim, or injure other human beings. "I did not see him" or "they came out of nowhere" are typically just excuses used by motorists who are operating a lethal machine in a dangerous manner. Not being able to see due to darkness (like heavy rain) is a terrific reason to slow the @#$% down. 20 mph is a perfectly sensible driving speed when you have limited visibility. The life of a single human being is worth far more than all of the minutes everyone saves by speeding in a 25 mph zone.And it *is* the responsibility of cyclists to use appropriate lighting at night.
would like to see a study on drivers who buzz cyclists intentionally
cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting
We don't know what the study means by "young" or "elderly" but it would seem that the peformance of 59 year-olds is very close to the performance of 60 year-olds.
If you don't want 60 year-olds driving, do you want them to be riding bicycles?
If you have a drivers license, are you planning on giving it up when you turn 60?
If you had suggested that everybody qualify due to some sort of test, you might have a reasonable idea. But disqualifying people by simple age doesn't make sense.
You also don't seem to realize that "young" drivers (20-24 year-olds) are involved in many more accidents (about 3.5 times as many) as 65-74 year-olds are.
Last edited by njkayaker; 04-11-13 at 01:52 PM.
Im not arguing that the information is not useful for those who do want to go above and beyond I am just saying that there seems to be more and more responsibility put on the cyclists for "gettin' outta the way of da cars" and not enough emphasis put on drivers who disregard the laws that are in place to keep us safe in the first place.
So, if cyclists are not very visible to cars why do cyclists have to change their behavior and not drivers?
If you're doing 25 mph downhill in the dark on your bike, how much reaction time do you think you have, how much distance do you think you'd need to ID a pedestrian dressed all in black, walking along the side of the road? Think you'd have enough time to not plow into them...?
If you hit them, is it the fault of the walker wearing dark, or the cyclist running them down?
I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.
I have enough lights, reflectors, bright clothing, etc., that cars often pass me extremely slow. You can tell there's "some WTF is that?" going on.
Given how easy/cheap/effective it is to be more visible as a cyclist, it's not very smart to choose not be more visible.
The goal is to avoid collisions. Why would you, as a cyclist, rationally choose to rely on drivers changing their behavior?
Did they test rear pointed lights or only front?
from abstract: "the bicycle had a light mounted on the handlebars which was either static, flashing or off."
Cars are specifically required to run lights at some time period stated in law around sunset or dusk. Motorcyclists in the USA have to run daytime running lights. Many cyclists are legally required to run lights when it's dark out.
Maybe lights should be mandatory on bikes, and while we're at it, require daytime use for conspicuity like motorcyclists and many cars.
If a cyclist is riding in the dark without lights where nighttime use of lights is required of cyclists and gets hit by a driver with their car, who is more at fault?
I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.