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Help an engineering student get important data for road safety!

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Help an engineering student get important data for road safety!

Old 09-18-16, 11:27 AM
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Emily_Jones
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Help an engineering student get important data for road safety!

Hello! My name is Emily, and I am an engineering student in my senior year of high school in Texas; and I am trying to gather data on visibility and safety at times of the days to gather into one big, crazy looking graph. And use all that info to design and create a product that could (hopefully) do something to help revolutionize road safety.

Little ambitious, I know.

No one has really researched these specific correlation between all of these variables, making gathering wide, comprehensive data VERY important. You can reach the survey here Its super super short, and no typing required other than typing certain times of the day, twice. Passing this among your friends would be incredible, I need as many people to take it as possible.

I cant give you rewards like some big company could, but you'll be helping a young hopeful engineer reach her dreams and other sappy things like that.


So if you take it, and even if you don't-
Happy cycling, and stay safe!
UPDATE
Poll closed.
I will return to this thread when (hopefully) my topic gets approved!

ANOTHER UPDATE (and another poll)

I said i'd be back when my project got finalized so here I am. My other idea, the dangers of disk brakes, is what got greenlit. The visibility one got passed off to another group.

I have another survey that my group and I put together. Everything is this project has been well researched and checked by our teacher, and I am in the process of interacting and meeting with investors for the project. (as I am the one in my group that is in charge of anything that falls into the public relations realm.)

Here is a link to the survey, and I look forward to working with everyone again!

Last edited by Emily_Jones; 12-07-16 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 09-18-16, 11:41 AM
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I hate to be a downer, but how visible cyclists "feel" they are isn't going to be useful for data on safety and the reality of how visible they are. We're an opinionated lot, especially those self-selecting on a safety poll. Nevertheless good luck with your project.
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Old 09-18-16, 11:51 AM
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I wear bright colors, use a headlight and taillight too. At night, I also wear a helmet mounted headlight, so I think the only thing I can do to improve my visibility is wear a blinking vest or pay for car drivers to get their vision checked
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Old 09-18-16, 11:52 AM
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I am sorry but I cannot fill out your poll meaningfully. I ride at all time and in all conditions .... I have no "favorite" or even "most frequent" time. I always feel I am fully visible at all times because I use sufficient lights when the conditions call for them. I am always less visible in the rain because the rain diffuses light--Everything is less visible in the rain. if I did not feel I was still sufficiently visible I wouldn't ride or I would get much brighter lights.

In any case, how visible I Think I am is irrelevant. How visible I actually am is the deciding factor ... as well as how alert drivers are. Nothing short of police lights and siren is any guarantee that anyone will pay attention ... and even in that case, likely drivers would check their mirrors first and hit me anyway.

Again, as to whether I Feel safe ... I am sure there are people who dress in all black at night and ride with no lights who Feel safe.

As for what time of day I feel most safe riding at --- if I did not feel safe I would not ride. No one who does not feel safe should be out on a bike---fear and nervousness cloud judgement and impede reaction/response.

If I am riding in heavy traffic, I need to feel Very safe so that I can actually be very safe. Obviously the fewer cars there are, the greater leeway I have to make errors, meander across the lane, and think of other things ... but in any case, only by being very aware of my surroundings am I ever in any way safe.

I am not quite sure what information you would want from this poll, because it is not particularly fact-based. How people feel is by definition totally subjective.

This might be a good poll for a marketing major, because one could design a product which made people Feel safer whether it truly made anyone safer. As for actually making people safer ... you would probably need to find out from drivers, how well they can see cyclists and what they notice first when they notice cyclists.

From my own informal research, conducted to increase my personal safety, I find that pedal reflectors or reflective ankle straps seem to grab attention better than even bright flashing tail lights. Something about the pattern of movement and range of motion seems to draw the eye.

However, reflectors have the obvious limitation, that they only work once the headlights, and thus the car, are aimed at the cyclist.

I think the ideal solution might be an extremely bright but tiny red strobe on an ankle strap. Even better would be something which would attack the the heels of cycling shoes, perhpas with a velcro patch.
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Old 09-18-16, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Emily_Jones View Post
I cant give you rewards like some big company could,
Well, as soon as you get that first big paycheck, you can take me to dinner.
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Old 09-18-16, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
you would probably need to find out from drivers, how well they can see cyclists and what they notice first when they notice cyclists.
This actually isn't the entirety of my research, I am conducting a lot more thorough research for the car end of this situation. I made this subjective on purpose, because with this I can see which times of the day seem to have the most people. Then narrow down what specifically I am aiming for.

The design process, especially for something like this, is very long and in depth. This is just the first step on a very very long road.

Anyway, thank you for the thoughtful reply!
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Old 09-18-16, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Emily_Jones View Post
This actually isn't the entirety of my research, I am conducting a lot more thorough research for the car end of this situation. I made this subjective on purpose, because with this I can see which times of the day seem to have the most people. ...
Why don't you ask which time of the day they ride then? I do 230 commutes per year, and of those 460 rides probably none of them are during the time of day I most like to ride, and in all of them from sunlit mornings to storms after sundown my visibility is adequate - not an issue - or else I wouldn't do it. Yet this won't be reflected in your survey, and the answers there won't tell you which times have the most people.

If you'll rethink your poll questions, I'll answer them.
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Old 09-18-16, 01:45 PM
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How many of you did projects like this in High School?

Do the young ladies poll. She will learn from it regardless of how she structured it.
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Old 09-18-16, 02:11 PM
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Additional comments to Emily:

Do some research on what a human eye detects most easily. I suspect you will find out that humans detect motion as the first priority of the eye/brain function. Helped us hunt for food and avoid becoming food in early history.

Many cyclist here wear bright colors. Is that really the best all round color. In bright backgrounds, might dark colors that contrast the background be better. What is the best color for overall contrast and for what times of day.

Blinking lights seem to help the most for cyclist visibility day or night. Maybe figure out the best color of light for motorist to detect (likely a different color for day vs night). Some research suggest blue light is best and that is why many police vehicles use blue. Since cyclist are the vulnerable class, why should they not also use blue. (Daytime I use a red blinky on the back. At night I use a white steady light for me to see in front, a white blinky for motorist to see in front and on back a steady red light, a blinky yellow light, plus blinky blue light.) The steady red light helps motorist judge distance from me. The yellow and blue light contrast red car tail lights. The steady front white head light is on my helmet and when motorist refuse to note the white blinky, the very bright helmet light is used to get there attention, plus when motorist shine there high beams at me.

Technology - for distracted motorist, a radar system that beeps, gives a heads-up bicycle icon display and vibrates their phone as the approach a cyclist.
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Old 09-18-16, 05:14 PM
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Very weird poll. I went ahead and answered it, but honestly the poll is really begging the questions.

When do I "like" riding? I honestly have not thought about it, any more than when I "like" driving my car. I get on the bike when I need to be somewhere.

When do I "feel most safe"? Again, I get on the bike when I need to be somewhere and I just ride. I really have never thought much about when is safe and when is not. I just get on the bike and ride.
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Old 09-18-16, 05:31 PM
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Why are they asking us? Oh well
I like Poles, but I never get asked to ride with them.
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Old 09-18-16, 05:55 PM
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I only ride during daylight hours.

have been hit 3 times wearing hi-vis yellow jerseys and once with a black jersey.

crunch those numbers...
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Old 09-18-16, 06:01 PM
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You may not know this but visibility is almost always red herring with respect to cyclist safety.

A lot of times "I didn't see them" or "They came out of nowhere" is a lie to cover for "I saw them but did not feel like slowing to pass safely" or "I saw them but do not understand how large my car is" or "I was using my cell phone."
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Old 09-18-16, 07:32 PM
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The biggest and overwhelming factor for cyclist safety is the number of motorists on the road at that time. Every motor vehicle has tail lights and brake lights and yet motorists rear end each other as well as run red and amber lights every day. A cyclist wearing reflector gear and bright lights will have a better chance to avoid collisions than one who doesn't but that is highly dependent upon the motorists that would be colliding into other vehicles anyways. Annually in the US, there are 6000 pedestrian and cyclists fatalities. Compare that the 34,000 motorist fatalities per year. Perhaps your poll should be addressed to motorists how to improve their own safety- and it's not having more of them.
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Old 09-18-16, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Why don't you ask which time of the day they ride then? I do 230 commutes per year, and of those 460 rides probably none of them are during the time of day I most like to ride, and in all of them from sunlit mornings to storms after sundown my visibility is adequate - not an issue - or else I wouldn't do it. Yet this won't be reflected in your survey, and the answers there won't tell you which times have the most people.

If you'll rethink your poll questions, I'll answer them.
-Erased because I posted before thinking, Im really sorry

Best regards-
Emily

Last edited by Emily_Jones; 09-18-16 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 09-18-16, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Emily_Jones View Post
Like I previously stated, I've spent a long while on the layout and questions in this poll. It is subjective on purpose for the fact this is about the views of the cyclist. And how you see things is subjective, yes? This was not made in 5 minutes, nor without the approval of my teacher, who's worked in engineering for 20 years.

And not to sound rude, but I am in my fourth year of engineering classes, and I can say with firm confidence that that is four years longer than you.

Best regards-
Emily
Wow...

Did your instructor inform you of a book entitled How to Win Friends and Influence People? I suggest you put down the keyboard and take a few days to read that book.

Did you even look at wphamilton's profile? The guy lists MATH AND PHYSICS AS INTERESTS!!! Would not surprise me if he has at least as much schooling as anyone posting here, if not a PhD.

Not to sound rude my elbow...Think of a rude way to type your last paragraph, compare it to what you wrote, and then come back to tell us all the difference, okay?

In the meanwhile, there is a new poll starting.

Yes or no

Does Emily's response to wphamilton sound rude and condescending?

I vote yes.

Last edited by jeichelberg87; 09-18-16 at 09:25 PM. Reason: additional content
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Old 09-18-16, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Emily_Jones View Post
Like I previously stated, I've spent a long while on the layout and questions in this poll. It is subjective on purpose for the fact this is about the views of the cyclist. And how you see things is subjective, yes? This was not made in 5 minutes, nor without the approval of my teacher, who's worked in engineering for 20 years.

And not to sound rude, but I am in my fourth year of engineering classes, and I can say with firm confidence that that is four years longer than you.

Best regards-
Emily
You are asking a favor of the forum. So take the information that helps your project and ignore the rest that does not advance the project.

The forum includes many professionals, so claiming greater knowledge/training is a bad idea (especially from the high school perspective). Be proud you are in the program, but avoid being condescending. The person on the other side may be a PE, MD, RN, physicist, etc.
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Old 09-18-16, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by jeichelberg87 View Post
Wow...

Did your instructor inform you of a book entitled How to Win Friends and Influence People? I suggest you put down the keyboard and take a few days to read that book.

Did you even look at wphamilton's profile? The guy lists MATH AND PHYSICS AS INTERESTS!!! Would not surprise me if he has at least as much schooling as anyone posting here, if not a PhD.

Not to sound rude my elbow...Think of a rude way to type your last paragraph, compare it to what you wrote, and then come back to tell us all the difference, okay?

In the meanwhile, there is a new poll starting.

Yes or no

Does Emily's response to wphamilton sound rude and condescending?

I vote yes.
My apologies, really. But I am a little angry at the fact people are trying to correct me and say i'm wrong instead of just, not taking the poll.

And it's not that I cant take criticism, I actually have written down a lot from what many of you have said here, and I greatly appreciate it.

I'm really sorry if i've made anyone angry, and please feel free to email me if you want to discuss anything further.
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Old 09-18-16, 09:32 PM
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By the way.

Edited due to apology.

Any cyclist rides happiest when they are safest.
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Old 09-18-16, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
You are asking a favor of the forum. So take the information that helps your project and ignore the rest that does not advance the project.

The forum includes many professionals, so claiming greater knowledge/training is a bad idea (especially from the high school perspective). Be proud you are in the program, but avoid being condescending. The person on the other side may be a PE, MD, RN, physicist, etc.
You're right, and as I previously stated I'm really sorry, I reacted harshly and unprofessionally, and I had no right to be condescending like that.
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Old 09-18-16, 09:36 PM
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Emily, Not to be rude and condescending, but 4 years of high school engineering does not an engineer make. However, I believe that there is way too much telling you how to do your study and what questions to ask, I feel sure you have some kind of protocol and outcomes for each part of the project. As we have not seen these there is not much of a way to know if your questions answer your questions or not. I would encourage you to keep asking questions, keep thinking and don't be afraid to buck conventional wisdom.

By the way, WPHamilton, if I were to guess is involved very heavily in statistics and risk analysis, may be involved in actuarial science. I am pretty sure he has an advanced or terminal degree in something heavily mathematical. Not a man to be trifled with IMO.
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Old 09-18-16, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
By the way, WPHamilton, if I were to guess is involved very heavily in statistics and risk analysis, may be involved in actuarial science. I am pretty sure he has an advanced or terminal degree in something heavily mathematical. Not a man to be trifled with IMO.
I have also found his knowledge of physics to be solid.
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Old 09-18-16, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Emily_Jones View Post
My apologies, really. But I am a little angry at the fact people are trying to correct me and say i'm wrong instead of just, not taking the poll.

And it's not that I cant take criticism, I actually have written down a lot from what many of you have said here, and I greatly appreciate it.

I'm really sorry if i've made anyone angry, and please feel free to email me if you want to discuss anything further.

Emily, I read the responses here.

I may have overlooked it, but I saw no personal criticism of you and no flat out rejection of your poll. Like I said, I may be wrong, but if you read all the responses again, maybe you might see the responses in a different light.

Good luck in your studies and best of everything to you and yours!
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Old 09-18-16, 09:51 PM
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Emily, we are behind your project. When it is complete, please return to this thread and post your findings. We also like learning, especially on the subject of cyclist safety.
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Old 09-18-16, 11:11 PM
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Looks like a grade 5 poll to me. pffft... Never heard of engineering in high school.
I rode 12.5 hrs/ 123 miles last Thursday, mostly on a divided highway. So 2 hrs in dark. I have led dyno lights on all the time, but NO stupid high-vis or a helmet.
Pretty sure they ALL saw me, the only bicycle out there. 99.99% of drivers here treat me like royalty actually.

As for safety, the future is car sonar/ radar. It IS already happening. Anyway, stay the HELL away from trucks turning, drunks and old geezers. Lane hogging is treated rather unkindly. YMMV in 'merica.

The new fad seems to be swatting mopeds going too slow on the roads and too fast for MUPs.

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