What an RAF pilot can teach us about being safe on the road

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

What an RAF pilot can teach us about being safe on the road

Postby Aushiker » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:26 pm

Interesting blog post at the London Cyclist. Please click through for the full post as it provides the background to the recommendations for cyclists ...

Two important takeaways for cyclists: Increasing your contrast helps you be seen. Think flashing bike lights. Also, remember the importance of good road positioning.


and

Cyclists and motorcyclists:

  • Recognise the risk of being in a saccade. High contrast clothing and lights help. In particular, flashing LED’s (front and rear) are especially effective for cyclists as they create contrast and the on-off flashing attracts the peripheral vision in the same manner that movement does. There’s nothing wrong with leaving these on during the day. (Especially if they are rechargeable)
  • The relatively slower speed of bicycles means that they will be closer to a point of collision if a vehicle begins to pull into their path. Turn this to advantage – when passing junctions, look at the head of the driver that is approaching or has stopped. The head of the driver will naturally stop and centre upon you if you have been seen. If the driver’s head sweeps through you without pausing, then the chances are that you are in a saccade – you must assume that you have not been seen and expect the driver to pull out!
  • Recognise that with a low sun, a dirty windscreen or one with rain beating against it drivers are likely to have less of a chance of seeing you.
  • Cycle instructors have been saying it for years: Ride in a position further out from the kerb as a driver is more likely to be looking in this location. See: How to make your next bike ride safer than the last.


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by BNA » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:44 pm

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Re: What an RAF pilot can teach us about being safe on the r

Postby gorilla monsoon » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:44 pm

Makes a lot of sense when you rationalise it.
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Re: What an RAF pilot can teach us about being safe on the r

Postby Aushiker » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:45 pm

gorilla monsoon wrote:Makes a lot of sense when you rationalise it.


I am going to give riding with a flashing front light during the day a shot.

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Re: What an RAF pilot can teach us about being safe on the r

Postby il padrone » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:12 pm

I've been riding with the dynohub-powered Supernova E3 on full-time for the past 18 months. A solid 370 lumens LED light, blazing forth day and night. I've found a lot of motorists stopping for me when I would judge they have a heap of space to make their turn. I believe that at first glance, they think I am riding a motorbike, travelling faster than I really am, and pull up. Once they see I'm on a bike it's too late and they wait for me. I think that the solid beam is better for this little safety deception :D



Looking forward to the forthcoming December release of the new B&M IQ Luxos headlight. Fantastic beam spread, with usb charging of other devices and if you wish, this dynohub light can be set to flashing.

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Re: What an RAF pilot can teach us about being safe on the r

Postby bychosis » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

So my lights have two flash rates. Does anyone know which is better, fast at approx 6/sec or slow at approx 3/sec? Fast annoys me when I can see I so I prefer the slower flash. Bt if it's better to use the faster flash I'll find a new location to mount that is out of my vision.
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Re: What an RAF pilot can teach us about being safe on the r

Postby Aushiker » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:42 pm

il padrone wrote:Looking forward to the forthcoming December release of the new B&M IQ Luxos headlight. Fantastic beam spread, with usb charging of other devices and if you wish, this dynohub light can be set to flashing.

I am curious as to where you are getting the information about flashing mode. I cannot not find any mention of a flashing mode on the Busch & Muller website but I do see the mention a flood light mode which I believe acts like a high beam/high beam flash.

I do like that these lights have daylight running lights.

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Re: What an RAF pilot can teach us about being safe on the r

Postby il padrone » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:00 pm

Ah, yes. It seems I may have misread the translation from German on the B&M website. It just has a headlight flash function, rather then a full flashing mode.

:oops:
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Re: What an RAF pilot can teach us about being safe on the r

Postby Aushiker » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:14 pm

il padrone wrote:Ah, yes. It seems I may have misread the translation from German on the B&M website. It just has a headlight flash function, rather then a full flashing mode.
No worries. I assumed that flashing mode was not allowed under German laws and/or it is not possible with dynamo lights as Busch & Mueller don't seem to do flashing mode from what I have seen.

Hopefully their DLR lights will do the trick. I am waiting for an email from http://starbike.com with the good news :)

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Re: What an RAF pilot can teach us about being safe on the r

Postby Howzat » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:19 pm

Very interesting article.

bychosis wrote:Does anyone know which is better, fast at approx 6/sec or slow at approx 3/sec?

I guess the general idea is that the light should flash at least once during the fraction of a second the driver looks your way before deciding whether to pull out in front of you. So sounds like both modes should be fine.

I don't like the rear lights that flash slowly (about 1 Hz or less.) Those are less visible than they could be for no good reason.
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