New bike lights that display the international symbol of the cyclist have been hailed as a major breakthrough in road safety.
Research suggests that the use of symbols can help drivers identify cyclists more quickly – giving them more time to react – and provide a shortcut to feelings of empathy and vulnerability.
Testing and research conducted by the University of Oxford suggest new bike symbol lights could create significantly better cyclist standout than anything currently available because they enable quicker and more accurate identification of cyclists by drivers.
For a fast moving - or swerving - lorry, fractions of seconds can equate to several metres between it and a cyclist.
The response among other cycle commuters has been overwhelmingly positive, and a couple of motorists have remarked they think the design Is a strong idea and caught their attention.
A behavioural expert has developed a set of urban bike lights that speeds up a driver’s ability to recognise a cyclist and so helps avoid accidents.
Research evidence suggests that this bike symbol light could make a major contribution to cyclist road safety. Professor Charles Spence, Department of Experimental Psychology
We immediately understood the concept of Brainy Bike Lights; the intelligence of the design, the potential impact on saving lives, the flawless execution of the idea into a desirable product. At The Science Museum we proclaim ourselves to be the home of human ingenuity, so it is exactly this kind of step change in the design of an everyday product, based on sound scientific research and principles, that we are excited, almost duty-bound, to champion.
It is a simple idea that stands out against the urban clutter of other lights and indicates that ‘this is a cyclist’. Tests prove it works.