RESEARCH-BASED COMMENTARY ON BICYCLE SAFETY
IDC believes strongly in the ability of research and education to improve bicycle safety worldwide. Our efforts include but are not limited to identifying and representing the most innovative and yet sensibly priced lighting solutions. They are also dedicated to disseminating knowledge we have accumulated during our extended and resource intensive product development process. Distressingly, annual statistics on bicycle accidents have risen along with rapid and sustained increases in the size and diversity of cycling publics around the globe. But there is also good news. Recent data suggests that as bicycling has grown in popularity:
Increasing awareness and acknowledgment by motorized road users of bicyclists as legitimate counterparts on public roads
Renewed efforts by city planners towards improving infrastructure for bicycle safety
Increasing experience by bicyclists as a whole have together served to reduce the rate of accidents per distance travelled by bicyclists in a number of areas.* This encouraging development is one we hope proves to be a trend gaining momentum as cyclists and non-cyclist alike become increasingly aware of, and take renewed personal responsibility for, improving bicycle safety.
Police bicycles at the Lord Mayor's Show outside St. Paul's Cathedral in London
BICYCLE SAFETY: PART 1 - DEFENSIVE RIDING
Supporting bicycle education and individual responsibility, our research and substantial two tire experience on roads around the world underscores that riding defensively and enhancing rider visibility (or "conspicuity" to use the technical jargon of traffic safety research) are the critical factors in bicycle safety and accident avoidance. We are certainly not alone in our concern for bicycle safety and are ever looking for new sources of experience and information in this area. Among the most insightful and accessible discussions of how bicycle accidents occur, and defensive riding techniques to help avoid them is that provided by Michael Bluejay in "Ten Ways to Not Get Hit". Nearly all examples he illustrates and cogently explains in his work underscore that cyclists must ride defensively due to their relative lack of visibility (indeed general invisibility) vis-à-vis other forms of transport on public roads − particularly motorized ones.
BICYCLE SAFETY: PART 2 - OPTIMIZING PASSIVE LIGHTING FOR CONSPICUITY
Of course, we consider that fortifying defensive riding habits with effective, reliable and durable conspicuity solutions such as dynohub lighting systems are a very good idea. To build a “better mousetrap”, IDC adopted an “open skies” approach to developing its own hub dynamo lighting solutions. In practice, this resulted in a sustained multi-year effort testing the best dynamo lighting systems on the planet, and digging into eclectic fields of research ranging from the technical (e.g. the most recent advances in LED technology and automotive lighting design), to the regulatory (e.g. traffic safety studies relating to bicycles and motorcycles). The effort sought to answer the question of how to optimize dynamo lighting systems for utility in beam pattern and safety via “passive lighting conspicuity”. The IDC dynamo lighting solutions we are (still) working on incorporating the numerous - and sometimes unexpected - insights gained under this effort. We have also now carry and represent a handful of non-IDC dynamo lighting solutions that have proven themselves remarkable in terms of performance, durability and value. We have also prepared short notes on the most interesting findings we have accumulated on bicycle lighting technology and safety resulting from our extended research-based product development effort, and welcome you to have a look.