Monday, 6 August 2007

Helmets attract cars to cyclists

From Scientific American web site:-
Strange but True: Helmets Attract Cars to Cyclists

His findings, published in the March 2007 issue of Accident Analysis & Prevention, state that when Walker wore a helmet drivers typically drove an average of 3.35 inches closer to his bike than when his noggin wasn't covered. But, if he wore a wig of long, brown locks—appearing to be a woman from behind—he was granted 2.2 inches more room to ride.
"The implication," Walker says, "is that any protection helmets give is canceled out by other mechanisms, such as riders possibly taking more risks and/or changes in how other road users behave towards cyclists." The extra leeway granted to him when he pretended to be a woman, he explains, could result from several factors, including drivers' perceptions that members of the fairer sex are less capable riders, more frail or just less frequent bikers than men.


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