I hate it when my new idea was discovered years ago… and I didn’t know about it. Well, here’s another one.
I’ve been thinking of ways for a commuter cyclists especially to be more visible to traffic, since most “Share Roads” are quite thin separators. I decided it would be fun and functional to add some personality to my cycling commute by gluing a bright colored wig to the outside of my helmet. This would make me appear less astronaut & more super pedestrian/party on wheels wearing my helmet.
Then I found a whole study about this…
In 2006 this Traffic Psychology dept discovered: “The Helmet Hair design, which is intended to be worn by both men and women, was inspired by cycle helmet research carried out by Bath University. The study revealed that car drivers leave less room when overtaking a cyclist wearing a helmet, but a much wider berth when passing a female rider with long hair. Drivers pass an average of 8.5 cm closer to cyclists with a conventional helmet than without.
As part of his research, traffic psychologist, Dr Walker donned a long wig to see whether there was any difference in passing distance when drivers thought they were overtaking what appeared to be a female cyclist. Whilst wearing the wig, drivers gave him an average of 14 centimetres more space when passing.” (Very cool site: https://www.eta.co.uk/2011/04/01/safest-bicycle-helmet-has-built-in-wig/)
It also states that the helmet wig comes in many colors, but the blonde is the most effective when it comes to causing reaction in the traffic.
All these ideas on making cars understand that there’s a person on the bicycle… just have to give the bicycle sex appeal. Duh! This is going to be hilarious…