Highway Code and advice on cycle helmets

This sub-forum all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmets will be moved here, if not placed here correctly in the first place.
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mjr
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Re: Highway Code and advice on cycle helmets

Postby mjr » 27 Sep 2017, 7:35pm

Steady rider wrote:My local Aldi store had some cycling gear in, I noticed some dark tops, not to my liking from a safety view point. In my view Aldi should sell bight tops, easier to see, than dark tops. I gather a lot of people do not agree with my view judging by what many people wear or they judge the products in some other way. I generally only buy bright tops, knowing I may use them for cycling at some time, if not bright I would most likely not use it for cycling.

If it's a bright top, I probably won't wear it for anything. I have very pale skin and look pretty rotten in most bright colours - chartreuse yellow especially makes me look rather sickly in its glow. Why should people like me be denied a choice of cycling tops?

I also note that you noticed them, so it seems they were easy enough to see. ;)

And finally, I think it takes a special kind of daft to want to cycle through rural areas camouflaged against the colours of crops and flowers. I wear black - very few crops are black and it contrasts with everything in daylight - and if it's dark, then I switch my bike lights on instead of relying on clothing.
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pjclinch
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Re: Highway Code and advice on cycle helmets

Postby pjclinch » 27 Sep 2017, 7:40pm

Steady rider wrote:My local Aldi store had some cycling gear in, I noticed some dark tops, not to my liking from a safety view point. In my view Aldi should sell bight tops, easier to see, than dark tops. I gather a lot of people do not agree with my view judging by what many people wear or they judge the products in some other way. I generally only buy bright tops, knowing I may use them for cycling at some time, if not bright I would most likely not use it for cycling.


Cycle Feb/Mar 2016 had an entry in the Q&A that I've kept for the inevitable "why aren't you wearing hi-viz if you're a cycle trainer?" questions.

Cherry Allan answers a question about why black clothing isn't discouraged and bright stuff encouraged by CUK (or CTC as it was then), and she points out that there isn't really anything in the way of actual evidence to show that wearing YELLOW! or similar makes you any safer.

It does seem quite natural to expect you're easier to spot and thus be in less danger of a SMIDSY etc... but there again it's quite natural to expect you're safer in a crash helmet, and we know how that goes. If you're going to look very hard at evidence for helmets it akes sense to do the same for bright clothing, rather than just repeat the usual assumptions.

I go for bright colours, but mainly because I happen to like them rather than I think they'll save my skin. I do have some dark things though, and after years of always wearing hi-viz and a helmet it was just as much a wrench riding in dark clothes as without a crash helmet. Doesn't seem to have made me any more collision prone though (but of course that's anecdata).

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meic
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Re: Highway Code and advice on cycle helmets

Postby meic » 27 Sep 2017, 8:01pm

The problem with establishing the effectiveness of hi-viz through a statistical study of accident victims is that the vast bulk of "accidents" where nothing would have attracted the drivers attention because they simply were not even looking for a cyclist drown out the few times when it could have helped a diligent driver who was looking.
Rather like giving the medicine for an uncommon disease to every patient that walked into a hospital would fail to show its effectiveness for that disease.
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Re: Highway Code and advice on cycle helmets

Postby Steady rider » 27 Sep 2017, 9:18pm

[PDF]DAY-TIME CYCLIST CONSPICUITY: A ... - Rail Knowledge Bank



railknowledgebank.com/Presto/content/GetDoc.axd?ctID...


the report goes into reasonable detail.

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Re: Highway Code and advice on cycle helmets

Postby gaz » 27 Sep 2017, 9:30pm

2020 : To redundancy ... and beyond!

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Cunobelin
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Re: Highway Code and advice on cycle helmets

Postby Cunobelin » 28 Sep 2017, 6:30am

mjr wrote:
Steady rider wrote:My local Aldi store had some cycling gear in, I noticed some dark tops, not to my liking from a safety view point. In my view Aldi should sell bight tops, easier to see, than dark tops. I gather a lot of people do not agree with my view judging by what many people wear or they judge the products in some other way. I generally only buy bright tops, knowing I may use them for cycling at some time, if not bright I would most likely not use it for cycling.

If it's a bright top, I probably won't wear it for anything. I have very pale skin and look pretty rotten in most bright colours - chartreuse yellow especially makes me look rather sickly in its glow. Why should people like me be denied a choice of cycling tops?

I also note that you noticed them, so it seems they were easy enough to see. ;)

And finally, I think it takes a special kind of daft to want to cycle through rural areas camouflaged against the colours of crops and flowers. I wear black - very few crops are black and it contrasts with everything in daylight - and if it's dark, then I switch my bike lights on instead of relying on clothing.



Interestingly there are large areas in the UK where there are military, many of whom commute in camouflage clothing, yet there is no massive increase in accidents due to visibility!

The other issue is that the visibility is down to the contrast between the cyclist and the environment. So technically you should be taking a series of tops with you to maintain that contrast as the environment changes.

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Re: Highway Code and advice on cycle helmets

Postby [XAP]Bob » 28 Sep 2017, 10:59am

Steady rider wrote:[PDF]DAY-TIME CYCLIST CONSPICUITY: A ... - Rail Knowledge Bank



railknowledgebank.com/Presto/content/GetDoc.axd?ctID...


the report goes into reasonable detail.


It might, but there is no link there...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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Re: Highway Code and advice on cycle helmets

Postby [XAP]Bob » 28 Sep 2017, 11:10am

Found it, read it...
he direct effect would be a reduced crash rate for those cyclists who wear conspicuous clothing

That's rather an odd statement - If we suggest wearing bright clothing then those who were wearing 'conspicuous' clothing would have reduced accident rates... Pretty sure that's sloppy writing at best...

Also - the tests cited, predominantly motorcycle related, managed to show a 'conspicuity difference' against a black background of only 13 m (63m vs 50m) between a motorcyclist dressed in black or like a highlighter. That might be statistically significant, but I'd suggest that it isn't actually safety significant.


I genuinely see no data in there which actually suggests that dressing like a banana is evidentially supported.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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mjr
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Re: Highway Code and advice on cycle helmets

Postby mjr » 28 Sep 2017, 12:33pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:I genuinely see no data in there which actually suggests that dressing like a banana is evidentially supported.

Nor will you - it contains evidence about conspicuity and not casualty reduction. From the abstract onwards, it basically assumes stuff like motorists who look-but-fail-to-see are actually the fault of cyclists for not being conspicuous enough, rather than bad methods by motorists - I feel that teaching learner drivers how to look only became widespread with the introduction of the hazard perception test in 2002. This isn't surprising when you notice that the paper is from bike-bashing Australia.

Amazingly, that paper cites a US study which claims "cyclists were far more likely to be at fault than drivers" which seems so different to the UK situation where drivers are far more likely to be at fault that I doubt its relevance and even its accuracy. Also, statements like "it will be assumed that the reader does not have to be convinced of the importance of cyclist conspicuity for safe cycling" seem like proof-by-vigorous-handwaving (there's another more insulting name for that but I bet it would be redacted by the filters).

From those sort of mistakes arise the usual bike-blaming: apparently it's all the fault of campaigners and we're wrong to push for the 1 in 4 drivers with defective eyesight to get glasses or be removed from the roads, and we're wrong to want pre-2002 drivers to pass the hazard perception test or equivalent training on how to look.

Then you get the weak results when comparing two extremes, described above.

In short, that paper is the sort of misleading evidence that too many casualty reduction projects (CRePs) have been basing useless and worse-than-useless actions upon for too long, concentrating on browbeating cyclists rather than educating groups who are doing the most harm. Challenging this sort of gibberish is a good reason for cycling groups to seek seats on CRePs.
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Re: Highway Code and advice on cycle helmets

Postby Steady rider » 28 Sep 2017, 5:55pm

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/transport-institu ... koorey.pdf
nothing to do with helmets perhaps, but it may be worth looking at.

http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/5982.html
what was the actual study, can we see an English version?

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar ... 3517313528


The new yellow jackets are bright and completely cover the top half.
Lots of links to other reports.

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Re: Highway Code and advice on cycle helmets

Postby [XAP]Bob » 29 Sep 2017, 10:51am

mjr wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:I genuinely see no data in there which actually suggests that dressing like a banana is evidentially supported.

Nor will you - it contains evidence about conspicuity and not casualty reduction. From the abstract onwards, it basically assumes stuff like motorists who look-but-fail-to-see are actually the fault of cyclists for not being conspicuous enough, rather than bad methods by motorists - I feel that teaching learner drivers how to look only became widespread with the introduction of the hazard perception test in 2002. This isn't surprising when you notice that the paper is from bike-bashing Australia.



But even in terms of what they *do* show... that against a background which clearly favours the 'high viz' tests we get some delta in conspicuity distance.

But even at 25mph you get 5.3 seconds of being 'conspicuously visible' in high viz, an 4.5 in black.
4.5 is more than twice the standard reaction time, so I don't think we have a benefit being demonstrated here...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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Re: Highway Code and advice on cycle helmets

Postby gaz » 29 Sep 2017, 8:55pm

Walker et al 2014 gets a brief mention in one of steady rider's links. Summary of findings here: http://cycling.today/hi-viz-clothing-ha ... distances/
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Re: Highway Code and advice on cycle helmets

Postby AdamS » 5 Oct 2017, 10:45am

meic wrote:The problem with establishing the effectiveness of hi-viz through a statistical study of accident victims is that the vast bulk of "accidents" where nothing would have attracted the drivers attention because they simply were not even looking for a cyclist drown out the few times when it could have helped a diligent driver who was looking.
Rather like giving the medicine for an uncommon disease to every patient that walked into a hospital would fail to show its effectiveness for that disease.

Isn't the same true of population level helmet studies? I assume you view them as unreliable too? Hi-viz and helmets are thought significant enough to advise cyclists to wear them, but do not appear to make much difference to overall risk. With helmets we say that promotion is a bad thing because it makes cycling seem dangerous, encourages victim-blaming of non-wearers involved in collisions, and having to buy/carry/wear extra equipment discourages people from cycling leading to a negative public safety benefit. We could say the same of hi-viz.

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Re: Highway Code and advice on cycle helmets

Postby Stevek76 » 5 Oct 2017, 1:50pm

Quite a few of us do I think.

To me, dressing up like a traffic cone to get anywhere simply detracts from the concept of cycling simply being an everyday method of getting from a to b.

Also I can't help think that some over-rely on their high vis at the sacrifice of their lights which seems utterly daft given high vis relies on other light to work. There's far too much no lights at all going on at this time of year but there's a fair bit of high vis yet utterly pathetic blinky lights going on all year round. :roll:

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Re: Highway Code and advice on cycle helmets

Postby [XAP]Bob » 5 Oct 2017, 3:47pm

AdamS wrote:
meic wrote:The problem with establishing the effectiveness of hi-viz through a statistical study of accident victims is that the vast bulk of "accidents" where nothing would have attracted the drivers attention because they simply were not even looking for a cyclist drown out the few times when it could have helped a diligent driver who was looking.
Rather like giving the medicine for an uncommon disease to every patient that walked into a hospital would fail to show its effectiveness for that disease.

Isn't the same true of population level helmet studies? I assume you view them as unreliable too? Hi-viz and helmets are thought significant enough to advise cyclists to wear them, but do not appear to make much difference to overall risk. With helmets we say that promotion is a bad thing because it makes cycling seem dangerous, encourages victim-blaming of non-wearers involved in collisions, and having to buy/carry/wear extra equipment discourages people from cycling leading to a negative public safety benefit. We could say the same of hi-viz.


Yes - the same is true of both, but at least the colour of clothing doesn't open up new possibilities for injury. There is some potential for unhelpful risk compensation though...

One key difference between high vis and helmets in terms of the appropriate mechanism for population level studies is that 'working' high viz won't show up, whereas 'working' helmets will (because they can't protect your arm, so there is an easily available control group (the cyclist population with broken arms/legs)).
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.