Research from the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and Nottingham University has found “increased odds of a collision crash” among cyclists who wear reflective clothing.
The transport minister, Jesse Norman, recently said that an upcoming government review may examine evidence on whether cyclists should be forced to wear helmets and reflective clothing.
The Sunday Times reports that the study suggests riders who believe they are more conspicuous may adopt more exposed positions on the road.
The researchers did go on to point out that the results “should be treated with caution” however, as they were based on only 76 accidents.
The Telegraph points to a larger study in Denmark, involving nearly 7,000 cyclists, which found cyclists suffered 47 per cent fewer accidents causing injuries if a bright yellow jacket was worn.
Earlier this month, we reported on a study that recommended riders wear fluorescent leggings.
Researchers found that “a fluorescent yellow jersey did not significantly improve the cyclist’s conspicuity relative to a black jersey. However, when the cyclist paired the fluorescent jersey with fluorescent yellow leggings, participants responded from a distance 3.3x farther than an identical outfit with black leggings.”
They concluded that “highlighting a cyclist’s biological motion can provide powerful conspicuity enhancements. Thus fluorescent leggings can offer a powerful and low-tech tool for enhancing bicyclists’ daytime conspicuity.”
At the same time, 2013 research from the University of Bath and Brunel University found that no matter what clothing a cyclist wears, around 1-2 per cent of drivers will pass dangerously close when overtaking.