High viz jackets

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
pwward
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No evidence derek day glo getup makes you safer

Postby pwward » 25 Nov 2008, 9:29am

The question of whether visibility aids help make cyclists safer is far from settled as this review by the Cochrane injuries group shows.
http://mrw.interscience.wiley.com/cochr ... df_fs.html

It is likely exhortations to dress in day-glo Derek gear are more a reflection of peoples paranoia. I expect, as with helmets, it is worn in places in the world with low cycling participation and is a surrogate marker for the health of cycling in an area. Plenty of day glo in USA and New Zealand, hardly any in Holland and Denmark.

At present there is no hard evidence it makes you any safer.

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UrbanManc
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Postby UrbanManc » 25 Nov 2008, 9:58am

allen-uk wrote:
But I think a more serious answer is that cars have powerful lights front and rear, probably 1000 times more powerful than bike lamps.


Allen.


That's not true, there are many lights on the market that match car standards, including my own, of course car owners are now complaining that they are too bright.


If we are "expect cyclists to try as hard as I do to keep the roads safe" , then the same should apply to all road users.

Let's start by limiting all vehicles to 70mph, reducing the HP to a reasonable limit, having all vehicles designed to the highest standards concerning the limit of impact damage, having all vehicles fitted with external air bags (yes they do exist) re-test all motorists every 5yrs .... the list goes on.

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UrbanManc
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Postby UrbanManc » 25 Nov 2008, 10:02am

JohnL wrote:
UrbanManc wrote:Can we have all cars painted fluorescent yellow then ?


Have you ever stared at a car and not noticed it then?? :shock:

Worrying....

John


No I don't because I actually look at the road ahead and take notice of what is going on but clearly some drivers aren't capable of seeing a cyclist that's covered head to toe in florescent yellow and has the highest spec lighting, so clearly they won't have a chance in seeing a black car at night.

DougieB
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Postby DougieB » 25 Nov 2008, 10:07am

I've been riding motorbikes for ages, as well as cycling. These days (EU law) motorbikes have to have dipped lights on all the time, there's now no off-switch on motorbike lights. Sort of ok, though I would like the choice.

The problem is, some bright spark in an EU office thinks this is such a good idea that they want the same to apply to cars. So all cars will have their day lights on all the time (no possibility to switch them off).

The effect of this will be (if it comes to be law) that motorcyclists will disappear into the background again. This is a danger of getting politicians/EU involvement, they tend to want to control and they always seem to take things too far.

So, as has been said, reflective vests become law, helmets become law, brightness of lights become law. Then they start going after pedestrians, and reflective vests become law, etc.

My personal view (which comes from motorbiking) is that I do not want to dress in high-vis stuff. I am interested in the pattern-recognition thing (where a car driving is looking for car shapes coming up the road, so bikes/cycles don't match that shape/pattern and are not seen by the brain), so high vis clothing makes not a lot of difference to someone not programmed to look for it.

I am responsible for myself, so deal with other traffic on my own terms. Whether that be assertive riding, defensive, pleasant, not-so-pleasant. I don't wear a high vis because I don't want to give myself the impression that it makes me more visible. The people who would see it, are probably the ones I don't really need to worry about. The people here saying high vis works are already cyclists. Ironically, even they are reporting near misses when vis'd-up.

I did some police (motorbike) training. Following a cop bike back into town, a car slices into our lane from a slip road on the left. Copper went nuts over the intercomm, "I'm dressed like a f'ing canary with lights on, and the b'stards still don't see you."

Would have been nice if the copper had actually nicked the guy for not paying attention. But these days we are making so many allowances for bad driving that we now just accept it. allowances I see are, high vis jackets, lower speed limits, safer cars, parking sensors, air bags (soon to be in motorbikes!), larger cars, presumed right to drive.

allen-uk
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Postby allen-uk » 25 Nov 2008, 10:10am

I agree, I agree! You're preaching to the converted, Urban.

But I don't think you need quite as many measures as that. Just get EVERY driver to take a test to the level of the IAM, once every 7 years, and you'd cut many accidents. (You'd also cut a lot of drivers out of the equation, also No Bad Thing).

Then BAN all those TV programmes about fast cars and men with big nuts going faster and faster thus proving their masculinity, plus car ads, similarly, and so on, and use the time instead for HIGH QUALITY road-safety ads and campaigns.

(Do they really do lights that bright? Never seen them round here, and no, I wouldn't be complaining about their brightness).

Allen.

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UrbanManc
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Postby UrbanManc » 25 Nov 2008, 10:13am

DougieB wrote: Ironically, even they are reporting near misses when vis'd-up.

.


100% , I've got the best Hi-viz and lighting on the market and still,on a daily basis, get idiots forcing me off the road and pulling out of side roads.

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UrbanManc
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Postby UrbanManc » 25 Nov 2008, 10:18am

Here's a nice front light for ya ..... £720 ... 1500 lumens.

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/Cycle/7/Lupine_Betty_14_Front_Rechargeable_Light/5360038399/

My own front light cost £200 , it's as good (often better)than many car lights.

kwackers
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Postby kwackers » 25 Nov 2008, 10:28am

allen-uk wrote:I agree, I agree! You're preaching to the converted, Urban.

But I don't think you need quite as many measures as that. Just get EVERY driver to take a test to the level of the IAM, once every 7 years, and you'd cut many accidents. (You'd also cut a lot of drivers out of the equation, also No Bad Thing).

Then BAN all those TV programmes about fast cars and men with big nuts going faster and faster thus proving their masculinity, plus car ads, similarly, and so on, and use the time instead for HIGH QUALITY road-safety ads and campaigns.

(Do they really do lights that bright? Never seen them round here, and no, I wouldn't be complaining about their brightness).

Allen.


Car dependence will take many decades to remove. We've built a society based on mobility, it won't (and can't) go away anytime soon.
Just to build a decent public transport alternative will cost hundreds of billions and take a decade or two. Not only that but it will require huge changes to the way we work as a society, people living nearer work again and being prepared to up sticks and move relatively frequently.

As for banning TV programs - pleeze. Some of us enjoy them. So what if it's crap TV? In my opinion most is, but I don't begrudge people watching it.

And high quality safety ads, you think people will sit through them? Most people these days use PVR's - I never watch live TV anymore, adverts start - press +5mins, back into main program.
Then of course such ads only have a very short term effect. Even continually redoing them means people just become blind to the message.

On the other hand I've no problems with restrictions to cars, bhp restrictions etc.
I don't think forcing a re-test every few years is necessarily a good thing - at least not in an absolute sense. Perhaps having an hours instruction every two years to re-validate your license (similar to what pilots do). You wouldn't lose your license (unless you were truly appalling, in which case perhaps he could be empowered to recommend a retest), but he'd give you pointers etc to help remove bad habits.

Any system that works by removing the worst (say 30%) of drivers whilst superficially sounding good will have a profound negative effect on our economy. (Just look how bad things are getting with just a tiny downward shift now).

millimole
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Postby millimole » 25 Nov 2008, 7:17pm

Without repeating all of Urban's post all of which I agre with, I think there is a lot of truth in the description of Hi-Vis clothing as 'Urban Camoflage' - in this shorthand, if everyone's wearing it, there's no point in anyone wearing it.

I'm generally happy wearing Hi-Vis as opposed to other supposed 'safety' apparel, because if properly designed it can be as comfortable and practical as any other cycling gear that I would be wearing anyway, and it doesn't seem to offer any downsides (which other 'safety' items may do).

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UrbanManc
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Postby UrbanManc » 25 Nov 2008, 7:44pm

It's also a good idea to wear hi-viz for insurance purposes, if I'm to get run over, and chances are at some point I will, then the defence lawyers couldn't claim I was wearing unsuitable clothing.

I've got a video planned of me in my cycling gear ( basically it's just to show off my lights, I've got OCD when it comes to buying rear lights :roll: ), I'll post the link at some stage.

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professorlandslide
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Postby professorlandslide » 25 Nov 2008, 7:56pm

I drive as well. I've evolved this technique i call 'looking where i'm bloddy going'.

It seems quite rare.

Interestingly as it was freezing this morning, the only jumper i had handy was black, so i wore it to cycle to work and back. And black jeans. As it was dark i had my lights on, one on my mess bag, one on my seatpost, and two on my handlebars.

Amazingly, i didn't get run over! Not once! It's almost as if i was somehow responsible for my own actions and could choose which direction to go in, how fast and whether to stop or not...

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paulah
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Postby paulah » 25 Nov 2008, 10:44pm

DougieB wrote: I am interested in the pattern-recognition thing (where a car driving is looking for car shapes coming up the road, so bikes/cycles don't match that shape/pattern and are not seen by the brain), so high vis clothing makes not a lot of difference to someone not programmed to look for it.

I did some police (motorbike) training. Following a cop bike back into town, a car slices into our lane from a slip road on the left. Copper went nuts over the intercomm, "I'm dressed like a f'ing canary with lights on, and the b'stards still don't see you."


Co-incidently I've just been reading my brand new copy of Roadcraft which says
" drivers are generally looking for cars or lorries but not other road users such as bicycles or motorcycles. When we concentrate we don't just look a a particluar part of a scene, we look for particular types of objects in that scene.... So we often fail to see objects that we don't expect to see."

This is accompanied by a picture of an urban road, taken from the drivers viewpoint, with a semi-transparent cyclist right in front.

DougieB
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Postby DougieB » 25 Nov 2008, 11:39pm

I think once I started to understand that pattern recognition thing, life on two wheels got a little easier. It's not 100% full-proof, as there are just some nutters out there intent on proving their point.

when cycling and motorcycling, I move road position sometimes when approaching a car that's about to pull out, or generally pull across my path. as long as nothing is coming up from behind I'll move into the middle of the lane (or as far as is necessary), to break up the scene using movement.

it definitely works. you get drivers that, despite eye-balling you, jump in their seats when you suddenly enter their consciousness.

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meic
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Postby meic » 25 Nov 2008, 11:55pm

On an Audax I noticed that the cyclists who were also motorcyclists (yes we do know each other that well) would always move out to the centreline for just about anything. The cyclists who were merely car drivers would tend to remain in the gutter!
It is so instinctive to "weave" from left to right when aproaching vehicles who are waiting to pull out. It helps them to see you.
Yma o Hyd

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Phil_Lee
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Postby Phil_Lee » 26 Nov 2008, 12:07am

DougieB wrote:I think once I started to understand that pattern recognition thing, life on two wheels got a little easier. It's not 100% full-proof, as there are just some nutters out there intent on proving their point.

when cycling and motorcycling, I move road position sometimes when approaching a car that's about to pull out, or generally pull across my path. as long as nothing is coming up from behind I'll move into the middle of the lane (or as far as is necessary), to break up the scene using movement.

it definitely works. you get drivers that, despite eye-balling you, jump in their seats when you suddenly enter their consciousness.


We used to teach that on the RAC/ACU training scheme I instructed on.
Moving across the field of view is the best aid to conspicuity you can use.
I was later taught in pilot training that anything on a collision course will appear stationary in the background, which confirms it pretty well.