ABCs of awareness
Research shows that cyclists drastically overestimate the distance at which they are detectable by motorists. Unless we’re actively doing something to increase our detectability, we may not be seen at all. And that’s an alarming reality. But there are simple steps we can all be taking to stand out. The following guidelines were developed using research conducted by students of Clemson University’s Perceptual Awareness department. The ABCs of Awareness—Always on, Biomotion, and Contrast—are presented here in a good, better, best hierarchy. Using daytime running lights is a good way to be noticed, but a combination of daytime running lights, highlighting your body’s moving parts, and choosing gear that contrasts with the environment is the best option. The more of the ABCs you practice on every ride, the more you’ll stand out.
Front and Rear lights, day and night
Cycling has taken some of its best cues from the automotive industry. We can thank cars and motorcycles for suspension and disc brakes, for instance. These days, cars come standard with daytime running lights because cars with DRLs are less likely to be involved in a collision. Applying that logic to bikes is a no-brainer. A true DRL has a specific focus, flash, and range. Without these three things, you just have a light.
|FSee the lights||FLearn More|
人The brain has identified ways of protecting itself, beginning with its uncanny ability to recognize a biological form with only a few clues to the form’s shape. In other words, we’re really good at seeing ourselves. This isn’t something that needs to be taught— it is an instinctual perceptual phenomenon called “sensitivity to biomotion.”
Choose the right gear for day and night
Visibility relies on contrast.
Fluorescent is effective for cyclists during daylight because it helps us stand out from the surrounding environment. But without the sun, fluorescent apparel is no more effective than darker apparel..
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