The effect of a yellow bicycle jacket on cyclist accidents

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Safety Science, ISSN: 0925-7535, Vol: 108, Page: 209-217

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Harry Lahrmann; Tanja Kidholm Osmann Madsen; Anne Vingaard Olesen; Jens Chr. Overgaard Madsen; Tove Hels
Elsevier BV
Engineering; Social Sciences; Medicine
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article description
This study is the first randomised controlled trial (RCT) of the safety effect of high-visibility bicycle clothing. The hypothesis was that the number of cyclist accidents can be reduced by increasing the visibility of the cyclists. The study design was an RCT with 6793 volunteer cyclists – 3402 test cyclists (with a yellow jacket) and 3391 control cyclists (without the jacket). The safety effect of the jacket was analysed by comparing the number of self-reported accidents for the two groups. The accident rate (AR) (accidents per person month) for personal injury accidents (PIAs) for the test group was 47% lower than that of the control group. For accidents involving cyclists and motor vehicles, it was 55% lower. The study was non-blinded, and the number of reported single accidents was significantly lower in the test group than in the control group. This is likely a result of a response bias, since the bicycle jacket was not expected to affect the number of single accidents. To compensate for this bias, a separate analysis was carried out. This analysis reduced the effect of the jacket from 47% to 38%.