Found … the solution to safer urban cycling – Behavioural science cracks problem of cyclist blind spots for drivers with Brainy Bike Lights

Found … the solution to safer urban cycling – Behavioural science cracks problem of cyclist blind spots for drivers with Brainy Bike Lights
Yareah Magazine
Brainy Bike Light - White front light

Brainy Bike Light – White front light

University of Oxford research launched today (7 April) indicates these radical new bike symbol lights could create significantly better cyclist ‘standout’ than anything currently available and make a major contribution to road safety. They speed up driver reaction times because the brain detects and interprets the bike symbols more quickly – enabling quicker and more accurate identification of cyclists by drivers. They are available direct at £45 per pair.

This major safety breakthrough has been achieved by behavioural expert and cyclist Crawford Hollingworth Recognising that most urban cycling accidents are caused by cars or taxis hitting cyclists from behind, he has invented a very different type of bike light using the international symbol of a cyclist on a bike. Called Brainy Bike Lights they consist of a pair of front (white) and rear (red) lights. They create fast cyclist recognition and clear stand out because the bike symbol combined with clever LED edge lighting projects a sharp diffuse light and symbol clarity from all angles at up to 20 metres distance in daylight or darkness.

Existing academic research clearly demonstrates the power of symbols in communication. It proves they can be quickly and accurately identified even at a distance and work effectively even in adverse conditions. As warning signs they are particularly effective and universally understood. Original research on the bike symbol lights, to explore their effectiveness against standard bike lights, further confirmed these findings. Professor Charles Spence at the Experimental Psychology Lab at the University of Oxford (where the tests were carried out) says; “This bike symbol light could make a major contribution to cyclist road safety.” The test results demonstrated the superiority of Brainy Bike Lights over traditional bike lights in terms of facilitating a driver’s response in detecting and discriminating the presence of a cyclist behind or ahead of them. He adds, “Our brains interpret symbols very rapidly, within .001 of a second of seeing something our brains have made a decision about what it is and how to respond.” In fact the research demonstrated that since drivers will be able to identify cyclists on the road more quickly, they would also be able stop significantly more quickly – should they need to.

Acutely aware of the need to reduce cyclist deaths, injuries and near misses*, Crawford Hollingworth co-founder of behavioural change research consultancy The Behavioural Architects, explains; “Cognitive functions of tired drivers are strained – especially in rush hour when many drive on autopilot. I spend a lot of time riding to meetings on Boris bikes so I’m hyper aware of the risks facing cyclists in the city. Using insights from behavioural and cognitive psychology about how the brain works, I found the quickest way to increase driver awareness and recognition of a cyclist was to use a bike symbol with a person on it. It is easy to identify the red or white bike symbol as belonging to a cyclist, tapping into what is called system one thinking which is fast and intuitive. The light will give drivers some vital extra milliseconds in which to brake, or take evasive action, or stop significantly more quickly. The bike symbol is also a short cut to all things bike related in drivers’ minds, subconsciously priming them that there is an unprotected and vulnerable human being on the road.”

*Most urban cycling accidents are caused by cars or taxis hitting cyclists from behind – 25% of cyclist fatalities happen this way; ROSPA figures show that in the UK 19,000 cyclists are injured p.a. in reported road accidents, including 3,000 seriously injured or killed. These figures don’t include the countless unreported ‘near misses’. Cycling charity CTC estimates that for every one cycling accident there are at least 4 near misses and probably many more (that’s at least 76,000 incidents per year). Direct Line’s research into what drivers see on the road revealed that drivers fail to see one in five cyclists even when they are in clear view of their vehicles. And research by the AA shows that 93% of drivers admit it’s hard to see cyclists when driving and more than half are surprised when a cyclist appears from ‘nowhere’.
Click here to see the lights in actionon the road. (Password: BBL)
Click here to listen to [Professor Charles Spence talking about the lights.|https://vimeo.com88402428 (Password: BBL)

What makes Brainy Bike Lights brainy? The facts:
• Better standout for cyclists than standard bike lights in urban light clutter
• Quicker, more accurate identification of cyclists by drivers
• Trigger relevant associations in drivers; including cyclist vulnerability/cyclist recognition
• Speed up reaction time
• Drivers gain extra 1.34m of stopping time
• Project sharp diffuse LED edge lighting – the symbol lights can be seen sharply in focus at up to 20 metres – even at acute angles
• Operate a program of settings including static, intense static, flashing and intense flashing with a battery life of up to 50+ hours on the front light flash program and up to 200+ hours on the rear light flash program (and batteries are included)
• Easy clip on/clip off bike mechanism (no screws, no allen keys)
• Each light weighs a slimline 122g, but delivers a heavy dose of standout on the road
• Lights fit together in a compact case for easy portabilityInternational technology and design patents have been filed

View Comments (2)
  • will

    This assumes that accidents are caused by lack of visibility. This is not the case in Australia; most accidents are caused by driver impatience or a deliberate attempt to drive too close, either by tailgating or overtaking, in an attempt to scare or punish the cyclist. The reason statistics may not always reflect this is because the driver always says, “I did not see him”, and usually by that time the cyclist is in the hospital or the ground. Visibility may actually make you a more attractive target for many Australian motorists.

  • Pingback: Mrs. the Poet was sent home from work, and the Feed | Witch on a Bicycle()

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