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The effect of a yellow bicycle jacket on cyclist accidents

The bicycle is a sustainable means of transportation and many cities around the world focus on promoting bicycle traffic to reduce congestion, but bicycle also causes many bicycle accidents and there should be a focus on preventing them. The Traffic Research Group at Aalborg University has completed with support from the Danish foundation TrygFonden 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 is reported in an open access article in Safety Science.