In the near future more and more people will be commuting by bike. This is an encouragement we all get from society because of the pending situation with the environment. When you live in a city, it is likely to be cheaper, faster and more convenient to travel by bike than by car, but is it safer? The answer is no, it is not. As a cyclist you are more exposed, and you are more likely to become injured in an accident. With more and more bikes adding to the equation it will add even more risks.
During my research it became apparent that many accidents occurred because of lack of communication between road users, misunderstandings and the lack of visibility. Therefore, the question that this project will answer is: "What can improve the visibility for cyclists in cities?"
The goal with this project is to create a solution that reduces the frequency of bicycle related accidents in cities and that is easy to implement into people’s everyday life. It should also contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. This project aims to contribute to goal 3, 9, 11 and 12.
The statistics showed that single vehicle accidents are more common but an accident with multiple vehicles is far more dangerous. In multiple vehicle accidents, 93 % of cyclists becomes injured compared to 64 % in the single vehicle accidents.
According to Transportstyrelsen, the amount of car accidents has in the recent years been reduced while bicycle accidents has increased in numbers during the same time. There are a lot of inferior bicycle lights on the market today since the rule for cycle lights in Sweden is that it must be visible from 300 meters, but that is it. If your light would be seen as a small dot of light from 300 meters, you would probably not be visible in a city full of other lights, even if it is legal. Most often you see cars from a distance, mainly because of their strong lights and the beam angle. This is something this project wants to achieve for the bicycle as well.
The user group thought that the concept had a lot of potential and believed that better and brighter lights would be the solution to capture other road users attention.
There are a lot of different products that improves the visibility for cyclists and the better ones have either good lighting or a lot of features - but rarely both. There are problems with existing turn signal solutions due to the lights not being separated enough in width which from a distance doesn’t make it clear where you are heading. Another problem is that the lights are only visible from one direction because of the cyclist being placed in between them.
The project resulted in a kit with three products that can be mounted on many different bikes. It will give the cyclist more visibility because of strong lights combined with them flashing and moving continuously. The products will be made out of the materials PC-plastic and aluminium so the product can be recycled while withstanding wear and tear. The cyclist will have the possibility to communicate with the surroundings through the usage of indicators and brake lights.
This time, the cyclist won't go unnoticed.