Vegan on a bicycle
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: wellington NZ (via NJ & NC)
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Originally Posted by twobadfish
The article barely makes mention of head and tail lights - which are required by law in many states. I think bright flashing red lights are far more effective than any amount of reflective material you could outfit yourself with.
The study almost antiquates itself by failing to use mounted lights in its study.
it may not make sense at first, but basic scientific method requires isolating different variables. this study just isolates parts of the reflectives variable (and completely trashes the flouro-at-night variable, for anyone who didn't know that previously). at some point in the future i hope they follow up with a similar experiment studying blinkies or reflectives & blinkies.
i'd be impressed to see how they standardize a blinky and mounting for an experiment... part of the problem is that blinkies are all marketed in terms of power consumption (eg, 1W, 1/2W, etc) but that only loosely (at best) translates into visible light output and still ignores optics, mounting variables, etc. there are countless variables to a blinky study, not least of which is the fact that there are countless blinkies of very different light output and optical characteristics.
just as this study points out the difference in perception
of visibility vs actual visibility in regards to reflectives and flouros, i think there's an even bigger gap between the perception and reality of blinkies. if you haven't seen your bike being ridden in traffic by someone else, then you really have no idea
what it looks like from a car. i think most cyclists would be disappointed. that blinky that seemed crazy-bright at arms length while standing in the LBS is barely visible half-way down the block to a car moving at +40MPH (in a 25MPH zone) - or +65KPH in a 40KPH zone.
i think the most important part of the study, the way i read it, is that 20% of old people who are driving cars shouldn't be driving!