Blokeology cycling logoIn a nutshell: High visibility clothing seems to reduce your risk of accidents on a bicycle.

Rather than decking cyclists out in strobe lights etc I would much prefer that we had a transport network and infrastructure that protected cyclists. However, I do accept that even with the best will in the world (and there’s not obviously a huge amount of that in the UK) it will take time.

Meantime, how much difference will your clothing make? This study is notable as it claims to be the first RCT° to look at this. They got 6793 volunteers and found that those allocated to the yellow bicycle jacket had a 47% lower accident rate. It was, of course, unblinded and the accident rates were self-reported. So, some caution needed there.

Overall, it looks like a pretty darn impressive difference and it was relatively higher in the winter months compared with summer. It’s a little naughty that they don’t offer absolute risk reduction figures. A quick back-of-a-fag packet calculations suggests the absolute risk reduced from around 14% to 10% (that is a very rough guesstimate).

Lahrmann H, Madsen TKO, Olesen AV, et al. The effect of a yellow bicycle jacket on cyclist accidents. Saf Sci 2018;108:209–17. doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2017.08.001

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