Randomized trials and self-reported accident as a method to study safety-enhancing measures for cyclists: two case studies

Harry Lahrmann
Tanja Kidholm Osmann Madsen
Anne Vingaard Olesen

A large number of studies show that high visibility in traffic is important in the struggle of getting the attention from other road users and thus an important safety factor. Cyclists have a much higher risk of being killed or injured in a traffic accident than car drivers so for them high visibility is particularly important. A number of studies have examined the effect of high visibility, such as reflective clothing, but most studies have been primitive, the data limited and the results very uncertain. In this paper we describe the safety impact of increased visibility of cyclists through two randomised controlled trials: permanent running lights on bicycles and a yellow bike jacket, respectively. The effect of running lights was studied through a trial where the lights were mounted to 1,845 bicycles and 2,000 others comprised a control group. The bicycle accidents were recorded every two month in a year through self-reporting on the Internet.

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