Sharing the Road: Experienced Cyclist and Motorist Knowledge and Perceptions
Bicycling is an increasingly popular activity, but safely sharing the road with motorists presents challenges. This study explores two factors that may contribute to negative interactions on Virginia roadway: insufficient understanding of cycling-specific laws and differential hazard perception for cyclists and motorists. Surveyed motorists reported not knowing bicycle-related laws and demonstrated some misunderstanding that was concerning. The results unexpectedly indicate that motorists rate potential road hazards as riskier to cyclists than cyclists rate the same hazards. This suggests that motorists recognize the vulnerability of cyclists on the roadway. But, our findings also highlight that motorist do not actively monitor for the same hazards as cyclists. A lack of similar hazard awareness could be leading to the regular close calls cyclists are reporting. It may also be this lack of fundamental knowledge that contributes to motorist frustration during cyclist encounters.
KeywordsHuman factors Cyclist Transportation Hazards Safety Survey
We thank Hampton Roads Cyclists, Swamp Stomp, Rustbucket Races, East Coast Bicycles, Rogue Velo Racing and Tradewinds Racing – Mermaid Winery for their assistance collecting data.
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