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TitleThe conspicuity of South Australian cyclists: implications for safety
AuthorsRaftery SJ, Grigo JAL
AbstractThis research sought to determine the level of conspicuity of South Australian commuting cyclists. Roadside observations were undertaken at four sites around the Adelaide CBD with two sites each covering the morning (8-9:30 am) and afternoon (4-6 pm) peak cycling commuting periods. A total of 715 cyclists (78% male) were observed, the majority of whom (59%) were estimated to be aged 30-59 years. The general level of front and rear conspicuity amongst cyclists observed commuting to and from the Adelaide CBD is concerning: 38% of cyclists were observed to have high frontal conspicuity; a small minority (8%) of cyclists were observed wearing high visibility vests. High rear conspicuity was much less common with 18% of cyclists observed to have high rear conspicuity. Over half (57%) of all cyclists observed to have high frontal conspicuity had obscured rear conspicuity, predominantly due to the use of a backpack. Further analysis of conspicuity via binary logistic regression indicated that the type of clothing worn by cyclists predicted high conspicuity (front and rear) and high visibility vest use, while age also predicted the use of a high visibility vest, and sex was also found to predict the level of rear conspicuity, including obscured rear conspicuity. These findings suggest that conspicuity may be associated with the individual characteristics of cyclists and the characteristics of different cyclist groups but further research is necessary to investigate this hypothesis. Several areas for future research addressing cyclist safety are suggested but there is a need to investigate the role of conspicuity and other cyclist characteristics in cyclist crashes, and to investigate factors contributing to crashes in which the cyclist and other vehicle are travelling in the same direction. While there is a risk that increased conspicuity may lead cyclists to become overconfident in driversí ability to detect them, the findings of this study indicate that improving the general level of conspicuity among South Australian cyclists could yield some safety benefits.
Report NumberCASR113
PublisherCentre for Automotive Safety Research
Publisher CityAdelaide
SponsorMotor Accident Commission
ISBN978 1 921645 51 8
Page Count29

Raftery SJ, Grigo JAL (2013). The conspicuity of South Australian cyclists: implications for safety (CASR113). Adelaide: Centre for Automotive Safety Research.

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CASR113.pdfReport in PDF format as published