Bicyclist Safety Behaviors in an Urban Northeastern, United States City: An Observational Study

This article reports on an observational study of bicyclist safety behaviors and compliance with road laws in Boston, Massachusetts. The study included 1,685 adult bicyclists who were observed at three high-traffic intersections, with observers focusing on the state recommendations of wearing a helmet and riding in a bike lane. Other behaviors recorded were displaying reflectors during the day, having a front light and a rear light/reflector at night, obeying traffic signals, and giving pedestrians the right of way. Overall, the authors found that 74% of the bicyclists wore a helmet, 49% had reflectors/front lights, 95% rode in bike lanes, 87% obeyed traffic signals, and 99% gave the right of way to pedestrians. The study also compared bicyclists who used their own bikes (93%; n = 1,563) to those who used shared bicycles (7%; n = 122): personal bicyclists had higher helmet-wearing behaviors (77% vs. 39%) but shared bicyclists had a higher compliance with reflectors/lights (100% vs. 39%). The authors found that, in general, Boston bicyclists ride in bike lanes, obey traffic signals, give pedestrians the right of way, and wear helmets. The article concludes with a discussion of advocacy, bicyclist education, and suggestions for future research.


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  • Accession Number: 01611839
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 30 2016 2:11PM