“Wheels Of Fury” is tackling the problem “How to reduce the severity and or the occurrence of bicycle injuries.” We conducted our first round of research consisting of general observations, and interviews with both non-cyclists, casual cyclists and cyclist enthusiasts.

The goal of this first round of user-research was to explore the the broader issue of bicycle safety, and hopefully identify specific opportunity avenues.

Our dissection of the problem statement, as a result of our initial findings, split it into two separate issues: “How to decrease the severity?”

  1. “How can we prevent the occurrence of bicycle accidents?”
  2. “How can we decrease the severity of bicycle accidents?”

After discussion with our team, we decided that we were of the belief that “accidents will happen”, and that if we could decrease the severity of those accidents, our potential impact would be greater.

For the past week we have therefore gathered a series of observations, and performed a number of interviews on the topic of bicycle safety gear, and safety practices in general.

Some of our main insights have stemmed from investigation of users at the extremes, such as bicycle enthusiasts, as well as from investigation of other activities where all safety measures are either always practiced (sky diving) or never practiced (pickup football).

Below is a glimpse at some of our main insights:

  • If the safety gear is integrated, not separate, it is much more likely to be used. Think seat belts in cars.
  • In general, elder cyclists seem to employ more safety practices (we are still getting to the bottom of this one.
  • Practicality of many safety products (where do you safely store them when they are not in use? for example) is a big barrier to their adoption.
  • The general perception is that safety gear is not required for ‘casual’ activities. A short bike ride to class, a pickup game of football, etc…
  • We are continuing our research and plan to redefine our specific problem statement this weekend.

Watch this video to get a feeling for what is at stake.

Stay tuned to find out what happens next!