Computer Science

Earth Science







Social Science




Sign-up for FTK Bulletin


The Key To Saving Cyclists

BOZEMAN, MT (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Every nine minutes a pedestrian or cyclist is injured or killed on the road hit by a passing motorist who either didn't see them or wasn't paying attention.

You need Flash Player 8 or higher to view video content with the ROO Flash Player. Click here to download and install it.

Biking has its benefits, exercise, save on gas, help the environment, but Tom Keck knows how risky riding can be. His son Collin was riding with a friend when tragedy struck.

"They were peddling on the road. He got struck by a tractor trailer going about 10 miles an hour and he was killed." Keck told Ivanhoe.

Collin was just 22 years old. He is one of 700 cyclists who die on the road each year. Now, human factors engineers have a new device to help reduce the number of deaths between cars and bikes

"What we came up with is a device to warn the driver of a cyclist along the roadway." Laura Stanley, PhD, a human factors engineer at Montana State University explained.

The device is mounted on a vehicle's dashboard. It uses a GPS transmitter and receiver to communicate with a similar device mounted on a bike. Signals are sent to a satellite, to the bike, and back to the car, telling the driver of the car where the cyclist is.

"Basically measures the speed of the bicyclist as well as the speed of the vehicle, and we can determine the time to say, collision." Dr. Stanley said.

Researchers are testing a similar device with a driving simulator to find what type of warning system works best when a driver is about to collide with a bike.

"First, you warn the driver say at 20 seconds when they're about to collide with a cyclist, and then at 10 seconds they receive a red icon, so that's danger, there's a cyclist along the roadway." Dr. Stanley said.

Tom thinks an early warning device might have saved his son's life.

"It was a tragedy waiting to happen. Collin was in the wrong place at the wrong time." Keck said.

Researchers are now working on a warning system for a cell phone application for bikers and vehicle drivers.

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.

Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:

Laura M. Stanley, PhD, CPE
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717
(406) 994-1399

Lois Smith
Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Santa Monica, CA 90406
(310) 394-1811

This Month's TV Reports
Patching-Up Wounded Puppies

Vets are fixing Fido without surgery! Considering that Americans will spend $47 billion on their pets, rehab is becoming a money-saving and life-saving therapy for thousands of dogs.


Cooling Babies—Saving Brains

Four out of every 1000 babies born today will suffer brain damage. Now doctors are using a special blanket to help these babies reduce their chances of developing a lifetime of disabilities.


Waking Up Brains After Stroke

It strikes 800,000 people every year and is the leading cause of long-term disability in the US. Now, researchers are helping wake up damaged brains and help stroke survivors move again.


The Key to Saving Cyclists

Every nine minutes a pedestrian or cyclist is injured or killed on the road. Now a new device will help warn drivers and keep cyclists safe.


Submerged In Oil

The spill is stopped, but how much oil is left behind? We go under the sea in a sub to get a close-up look at what’s there


New Spin on Tornadoes

Hurricanes hitting the coast put lives at risk inland. New technology can warn people when tornadoes will strike hundreds of miles away from the storm.


Digging for Earthquakes

We dig deep into one of the most active earthquake zones in the world to find out when the next ‘big one’ will strike.


New Roofs Put Money in Your Pocket

New roofing technology will keep you covered and put more money in your pocket!


Smaller, Lighter, Faster Gadgets

From computers to cell phones … researchers are working on ways to make them better and more energy efficient.


3d Video Games Go Inside The Body

A new high-tech video game goes inside the human body, teaching kids science and having fun at the same time.


Animated Tutors-Making the Grade

The teacher is ‘in’ and ‘on’ the computer. Kids can now improve their language and social skills with an animated tutor.



In these tricks – the math is quicker than the eye. We introduce you to a mathematician who has a few tricks up his sleeve.


Prior Reports
A joint production of Ivanhoe Broadcast News and the American Institute of Physics.
  Ivanhoe Broadcast News
2745 West Fairbanks Avenue
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 740-0789

American Institute of Physics
One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 19740-3843
(301) 209-3100
  P.O. Box 865
Orlando, Florida 32802
  © 2010 Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc.