See.Sense and RoSPA have partnered to conduct new research in a bid to improve cyclist safety by more effectively pinpointing potential collision blackspots.
Funded by the Department for Transport, the City Safe Brum study actively involved 200 Birmingham cyclists equipped with sensor-enabled See.Sense bike lights. Over six months, participants covered over 26,000 miles and relayed almost 800 million lines of data of their riding environment.
This data allowed researchers to gain information of locations in the city where riders most frequently experienced ‘near-miss’ brake or swerve incidents. Researchers cross referenced this data with ‘Stats19’ police reports outlining accident flashpoints in Birmingham. The data together showed that cyclists are 2.4 times more likely to experience a brake or swerve in the immediate vicinity of officially recorded collision locations.
David Walker, RoSPA’s Head of Road and Leisure Safety said: “Cycling collisions are typically under-reported and therefore it’s vital that we understand more about their causes, so that road safety can be improved. Up until now, we’ve had to rely on ‘lag’ indicators such as the stats 19 report filed by police, usually when there has been a serious injury or death. This is why we are really excited about this research, which highlights how the swerving and braking data forms ‘lead-indicators’ that can help cities prioritise their safety interventions, or as a tool to analyse an area based on other indicating data, such as reports from cyclists.”
Philip McAleese, CEO of See.Sense said: “Cities around the world are accelerating their plans to increase active travel in cities, yet one of the biggest challenges remains safety. Our technology, which can be used on privately owned bikes, as well as integrated into bike or scooter fleets, provides the deep data insights needed by cities to improve safety of riders and the design of cycle infrastructure. This project combined See.Sense technology with RoSPA’s expertise in road safety to create a tool which we hope can have real benefit to cities who want to take proactive steps to improve safety for cyclists”.
To find out more about the project, join RoSPA and See.Sense at the Cycle Active City virtual conference on 25 August 2021.