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Conspicuity issues for motorcycles and bicycles Narelle Haworth Presentation to National Road Safety Forum, Tasmania 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Conspicuity issues for motorcycles and bicycles Narelle Haworth Presentation to National Road Safety Forum, Tasmania 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Conspicuity issues for motorcycles and bicycles Narelle Haworth Presentation to National Road Safety Forum, Tasmania 2013

2 Outline Active safety for two wheelers Conspicuity concepts and measurement Themes and methods in conspicuity research Use of conspicuity aids Effectiveness of conspicuity aids Issues for the future

3 Active safety for two-wheelers PTWs –traditionally, most focus in crash avoidance on driver training, not vehicle safety –development and evaluation of improved braking systems for PTWs –recent work on performance and acceptability of Advanced Rider Assistance Systems Bicycles –little work in improving active safety of vehicle –recognition of benefits for VRUs of some active safety sytems for motor vehicles (ISA, automatic braking, blind spot reduction for HVs, V2V, V2I) (Steriu, 2012)

4 Major TW safety issues 80% of on-road bicycle and 58% of motorcycle rider fatalities in Australia involve motor vehicles (DIT, 2012) Plus at least 22% of hospital admissions for on-road bicycle crashes (Henley and Harrison, 2012) Car driver mostly at fault in TW crashes Evidence of looked but failed to see (LBFS)

5 Conspicuity The objects ability to attract visual attention Perceptual or sensory conspicuity –Relates to physical characteristics such as colour, luminance, angular size, position in field of view, angular velocity, loudness Cognitive conspicuity –Expectancy –Relates to frequency of stimulus, position, velocity, personal interest and experience

6 Importance of cognitive conspicuity Examination of bicycle-car crashes found that bicyclists arent where drivers look (Rasanen and Summala, 1998) –This questions value of both sensory conspicuity improvements and passing distance requirements Car drivers with motorcycling experience (dual drivers) less likely to be involved in motorcycle crashes or be at fault (Brooks & Guppy, 1990; Magazzu et al., 2006) Dual drivers know where to look for motorcycles –Roge et al. (2012) dual drivers detected mcycs in rear vision at greater distance in simulator Crundall et al. (2008) car drivers with motorcycling experience held more positive beliefs about motorcyclists than other car drivers

7 Themes of conspicuity research Benefits of motorcycle daytime lights Effects of DRL for other vehicles on VRU detectability Patterns of use of conspicuity aids and factors predicting use Factors underlying looked but failed to see General studies of factors contributing to mcyc and bicycle crashes with conspicuity as one factor

8 Discussion of methods used in conspicuity research Laboratory experiments –Priming respond when you see a motorcycle or too many TWs –Detection versus recognition and reaction –Often static images or lack of competing tasks Simulator Surveys of rider attitudes and behaviours –High distances ridden, adults, road bikes, low severity crashes Observational studies Crash data and indepth analyses –Sometimes inappropriate comparisons, other confounding factors

9 Reported use of conspicuity aids by cyclists Always use rear light in dark/low-light conditions –92% NZ, 90% Qld Always use front light in dark/low-light conditions –87% NZ, 84% Qld Wear fluoro clothing/accessories –30% always NZ, 14% always/almost always Qld –higher for females NZ Wear bright coloured clothing/accessories –43% always/almost always Qld Wear reflective clothing/accessories –21% always/almost always Qld (NZ: Thornley et al., 2011, Qld: unpublished CARRS-Q data) 9

10 CASR cyclist observations Adelaide CBD commuter cyclists (Raftery & Grigo, 2013) 38% of cyclists had high frontal conspicuity; 8% wore high visibility vests 18% of cyclists had high rear conspicuity 57% of cyclists with high frontal conspicuity had obscured rear conspicuity, mainly backpacks (particularly males) High visibility vest more common if wearing non-cycling clothing and aged (cf 20-29)

11 Effectiveness of conspicuity aids Taupo Bicycle Study (Thornley et al., 2011) –riders who always wore fluorescent colours had 8x fewer days off work from bicycle crash injury in last year (cf never wear) –controlled for age group, gender, average cycling speed, years of experience, bunch riding, distance ridden per year Motorcycle case-control study (Wells et al., 2004) –high visibility clothing associated with 37% lower injury risk 11

12 Effectiveness of conspicuity aids Cochrane Review (Kwan & Mapstone, 2009) Daytime: –fluorescent yellow, red and orange improved detection and recognition –yellow was best non-fluoro Night-time: –lamps and flashing lights –retroreflective material in red and yellow Other factors: road condition, contrast, weather, street lighting, background clutter, vehicle roadworthiness Survey: Riders and pedestrians over-estimate their own visibility (Wood et al., 2009) Promising approaches focus on incorporating movement into lighting 12

13 Biomotion (biological motion) Visual sensitivity to patterns of human motion can be used to improve the conspicuity of bicyclists at night Wood et al. (2012) on-road experiment showed –Knee and ankle reflectors increased drivers detection distances over reflective vest alone or black clothing alone –Knee and ankle reflectors compensated for poorer detection by older drivers –Static or flashing bicycle light did not enhance detection

14 Phi-phenomenon Illusion of movement (and greater size) when two flashing lights (Gershon & Shinar, 2013) Motorcycles detected more often and more quickly with ABLS cf bright colours, especially in clutter and dusk

15 Issues for the future Growth in both motorcycle and bicycle use –Enough to change cognitive conspicuity?? Electric bicycles may not have the speed profiles expected for bicycles More cars with DRL? Acceptability of conspicuity enhancements Will car-based systems for detecting VRUs solve the problem? –Issue of age of vehicle fleet

16 Take-home messages Bright colours and lights are good but not enough Moving lights may be more effective than stationary Driver experience is an important determinant of whether TWs are seen

17 Questions? Mark your Diaries! International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety Conference (2013) August 2013, Brisbane Registrations now open! CRICOS No J

18 References (1) Brooks, P. & Guppy, A. (1990). Driver Awareness and Motorcycle Accidents. Proceedings of the International Motorcycle Safety Conference, 2(10), 27–56. Crundall, D., Bibby, P., Clarke, D., Ward, P., & Bartle C. (2008). Car drivers attitudes towards motorcyclists: A survey. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 40, 983–993 DIT. (2012). Australian road deaths database. road crash database.aspx road crash database.aspx Gershon, P. & Shinar, D. (2013). Increasing motorcycles attention and search conspicuity by using Alternating-Blinking Lights System (ABLS). Accident Analysis and Prevention, 50, Goldenbeld, C., Houtenbos, M. & Ehlers, E. (2010). The use of portable media players and mobile phones while cycling; Results of a large-scale internet survey (R ). SWOV: Leidschendam, The Netherlands. (Dutch with English abstract) Henley, G., Harrison, J.E. (2012). Trends in Serious Injury Due to Land Transport Accidents, Australia 2008–09. INJCAT 143. Injury Research and Statistics Series no. 67. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Canberra.

19 References (2) Kwan, I. & Mapstone, J. (2004). Visibility aids for pedestrians and cyclists: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 36(3), 305–312. Magazzu, D., Comelli, M. & Marinoni, A. (2006). Are car drivers holding a motorcycle licence less responsible for motorcycle–car crash occurrence? A non-parametric approach. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 38, 365–370. Raftery, S.J. & Grigo, J.A.L. (2013). The conspicuity of South Australian cyclists: implications for safety (CASR113). Rasanen, M. & Summala, H. (1998). Attention and expectation problems in bicycle– car collisions: an in-depth study. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 30(5), 657–666. Steriu, M., Raising the Bar – Review of Cycling Safety Policies in the European Union. European Transport Safety Council, Brussels.

20 References (3) Thornley, S.J., Woodward, A., Langley, J.D., Ameratunga, S.N., Rodgers, A. (2008). Conspicuity and bicycle crashes: preliminary findings of the Taupo Bicycle Study. Injury Prevention, 14(1), 11–18. Wells, S., Mullin, B., Norton, R., Langley, J., Connor, J., Lay-Yee, R. (2004). Motorcycle rider conspicuity and crash related injury: case-control study. British Medical Journal, 328, 828–857. Wood, J.M., Lacherez, P.F., Marszalek, R.P., King, M.J. (2009). Drivers and cyclists experiences of sharing the road: incidents, attitudes and perceptions of visibility. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 41(4), 772–776. Wood, J.M., Tyrrell, R.A., Marszalek, R., Lacherez, P., Carberry, T., Chu, B.S. (2012). Using reflective clothing to enhance the conspicuity of bicyclists at night. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 45, 726–730. Yuan, W. (2000). The effectiveness of the ride-bright legislation for motorcycles in Singapore. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 32(4), 559–563.


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