Could you produce something completely universal as a safety message for every road user?
"The ONLY CONTACT I want with you is EYE CONTACT"
"The ONLY CONTACT I want with another road user is EYE CONTACT"
This can be used on cyclists' tabards, stickers on the back, side, AND front of any vehicle (looking back through the windscreen at the driver is perhaps a far more relevant detail for a slower moving cyclist, and certainly used by pedestrians when crossing the road). Looking back can also negotiate with bus drivers especially about how you both behave approaching a bus stop.*
Looking back was the key safety measure identified by the 5000 cyclist OxCam study, which also noted the women identified this as a significant issue with which they had a problem. This was statistically affirmed by also reviewing the incidents recorded, where women featured to a greater extent in incidents that involved poor awareness of following traffic. It may also explain why women feature more in HGV crashes where the cyclist is overhauled and either driven over or crushed by the driver turning left. I find that I regularly use a rearward glare, and sometimes even a clear hand signal directed at the driver of a truck or bus coming up behind me. The key safety message that the OxCam Survey proposed was "Perfect the rearward glance"
*It is very helpful for a bus driver in a bus lane or approaching a bus stop, if a cyclist moving more slowly in front, pulls over to the right, to let the bus driver pass without having to weave out to pass the bike. It also means that you are in control of when you pull back to the left after the bus has gone past or stopped, and eliminates the hazard of being cut-up by the bus driver moving back to the left too early. You are also more visible to any driver in a vehicle following the bus, whose attention may well be directed to the right hand side of the bus to decide when to pass it.
This post was edited by
9:57am 4 June 2014.