pwa wrote:How about lights and hi-viz used by cyclists at night? Surely we all accept that they enhance safety for their users. I don't need evidence from an academic source for that one. "No brainer" is an appropriate term.
No, and especially not hi-viz at night. There is little evidence that hi-viz enhances safety in the daytime, let alone at night - nor would I expect there to be any benefit at night, because the only thing hi-viz adds to a well-reflectored bike is fluorescent colour which doesn't work under artificial light. IIRC, under low-pressure sodium lights, you may as well be wearing grey. If the reflective surface of hi-viz clothing is adding much visibility to your bike, then put more reflective stuff on the bike because it'll always be there and won't dim as much with washing as hi-viz does.
I'm not sure about lights and they have so many other benefits (being able to see and signal more easily, for example, as well as not risking a hefty fine) for the users that I'd be surprised if there was good recent data available for them. If I remember correctly, collision data finds lack of lights a factor in just something like 2% of collisions, yet some here estimate 40% of riders on some UK routes are unlit, rising over 50% for some Dutch routes (edit:
An investigation in 2009 found that 65% of Dutch cyclists have a working front and rear light. Up from 54% in 2003*. The figure is considerably lower in the 4 largest cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht)
) Anyone know some good UK numbers on that?
I feel all this is needlessly and unjustifiably insulting statisticians and academics in some sort of inverted snobbery. The world is not simple and it's by analysing the evidence that we discover actual relationships instead of relying on prejudice and dogma.
Psamathe wrote:So I do wonder how much is down to personal experience, not necessarily even involving road or vehicles.
For a long time, the main reason I bothered with one (and I did find them a bother) was to protect my head from overhanging branches. Since then, soft hats have done the same job OK and I suspect they'd also protect against some skin loss. However, I do know people who seem to have been spared quite nasty injuries in freak accidents from wearing a helmet - how many have suffered extra injuries because of helmets when they wouldn't if unhatted (such as head hitting the road in simple slide-off falls where I've always kept my head up), who knows? After one rebuffs a "shouldn't you wear a helmet?", most people nearby don't tell you such stories