Using reflective clothing to enhance the conspicuity of bicyclists at night

Wood, Joanne M., Tyrrell, Richard A., Marszalek, Ralph P., Lacherez, Philippe F., Carberry, Trent P., & Chu, Byoung Sun (2012) Using reflective clothing to enhance the conspicuity of bicyclists at night. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 45(March), pp. 726-730.

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Bicycling at night is more dangerous than in the daytime and poor conspicuity is likely to be a contributing factor. The use of reflective markings on a pedestrian’s major joints to facilitate the perception of biological motion has been shown to greatly enhance pedestrian conspicuity at night, but few corresponding data exist for bicyclists. Twelve younger and twelve older participants drove around a closed-road circuit at night and indicated when they first saw a bicyclist who wore black clothing either alone, or together with a reflective bicycling vest, or a vest plus ankle and knee reflectors. The bicyclist pedaled in place on a bicycle that had either a static or flashing light, or no light on the handlebars. Bicyclist clothing significantly affected conspicuity; drivers responded to bicyclists wearing the vest plus ankle and knee reflectors at significantly longer distances than when the bicyclist wore the vest alone or black clothing without a vest. Older drivers responded to bicyclists less often and at shorter distances than younger drivers. The presence of a bicycle light, whether static or flashing, did not enhance the conspicuity of the bicyclist; this may result in bicyclists who use a bicycle light being overconfident of their own conspicuity at night. The implications of our findings are that ankle and knee markings are a simple and very effective approach for enhancing bicyclist conspicuity at night.

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17 citations in Scopus
15 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 47281
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Conspicuity, Bicyclists, Clothing, Age, Bicycle lights
DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2011.09.038
ISSN: 0001-4575
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Copyright Statement: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Accident Analysis and Prevention. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Accident Analysis and Prevention, [Volume 45, March 2012], DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2011.09.038
Deposited On: 29 Nov 2011 01:20
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2014 07:12

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