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Found 2 results

  1. Luxembourg is trying out a new kind of blue road reflector that they hope will reduce car collisions with wild animals at dusk and during the night. The Luxemburger Wort reports: "Blue is considered to be a colour of danger for wild animals as it is rarely seen in nature. When a car approaches with a low beam of light, this light is reflected back along the roadside creating a kind of light fence. It is hoped that this will discourage wild animals from crossing the road. Reflectors have already been installed at intervals on roads between Weyer and Fischbach and Godbringen and Heffingen. More are expected to follow in areas where deer are known to cross roads, in the south, north and along the Moselle." Similar blue reflectors have been tested in Germany with great results - resulting in a 73% reduction of night-time accidents with wild animals.
  2. Results from a study done by a research group at the Skövde University in Sweden might surprise cyclists. Their research project, named Urbanist 2, have looked at how well reflexes helps motorists’ spot cyclists in the dark. Their conclusion is that it is dangerous to rely on the bright, and among cyclists, popular reflective vests. “What we have seen in our research is such that the reflective vest provides a false sense of security at night, when it in no way helps the motorist to interpret the rider's movement information,” said Paul Hemeren, PhD in Cognitive Science at the University of Skövde. Instead, their findings show, it’s more important where on your body those reflexes are located. The best placements are on the head, arms, feet, and other body parts that are moving when you’re cycling. “If you place a reflective stripe on the back of the helmet, which continues in a vertical line down the back, you create a line that breaks when the rider turns his or hers head,” Hemeren said. “This shows [for the motorist] that it’s a high probability that the cyclist will turn. And if reflexes are also placed on other body joints you will reach an even better result.” If the reflexes are placed like this, it reinforces a riders unconscious patterns of movement and in turn makes it easier for the motorist to make an accurate assessment of the cyclist’s intentions – in up to 97 percent of the cases. Without it, the study finds that the motorists could only make a correct assessment in little over 70 percent of the cases. Obviously one shouldn't draw too many conclusions from only one study, but apparently, those reflective safety vests used by many cyclists might not do much to protect the wearer – at least if the wearer is on a bike.