Bicycling has become an increasingly popular and environmentally friendly active transportation modality for many commuters across the nation. Consequently, as ridership increases so does the rate of bicycle–motor vehicle crashes, many of which are caused by reduced bicycle visibility and driver inattention. Therefore, one effective solution to improve bicyclist safety may be through the use of an audible bicycle alarm system to alert both the driver and the rider. A study was conducted to determine whether a unique auditory alert would be effective at reducing crash rates and whether a localized alert (i.e., an alert presented from the driver’s perspective) would improve the driver’s responsiveness in avoiding a potential collision. A driving simulator study tested car horn sounds, an experimental bike alert, and no auditory alert in different potential collision scenarios to measure collision rates and other collision avoidance metrics. Findings indicated that the experimental bike alert contributed to fewer relative crashes than the horn sound and no sound on bicycles, motor vehicles were struck more frequently than bicycles, collisions were more likely to occur from the front than the sides, and collisions were more likely for drivers going straight than when making turns. Taken together, the findings suggest that an alarm designed to be specifically compatible with bicycles is more effective than auditory alerts from other sources.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Transportation Research Record|
|Publisher||Sage Publications Ltd|
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - 2021|
|Name||Transportation Research Record|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The research reported here was partly supported by a research grant from the US National Science Foundation (NSF Grant PFI-16114).
© National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board 2020.