Drivers’ visual search behavior toward vulnerable road users at junctions as a function of cycling experience

Robbins, Chloe J. and Chapman, Peter (2018) Drivers’ visual search behavior toward vulnerable road users at junctions as a function of cycling experience. Human Factors . ISSN 1547-8181

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The current study investigated the behaviour and visual attention of two groups of drivers with differing pedal cycling experience (pedal cyclists and non-pedal cyclists), towards vulnerable road users at junctions in a driving simulator.


Pedal cyclists and motorcyclists are involved in a disproportionate number of crashes given the distance they travel, with a high proportion of these crashes occurring at junctions. Many studies have found that car drivers who also hold a motorcycle licence have increased awareness towards motorcycles.


The task involved approaching a T-junction and turning right when it was deemed to be safe. In Study 1 the junction was controlled by a give way sign, and in Study 2 the junction was controlled by a stop sign. Each T-junction contained a target vehicle (car, motorcycle or pedal cycle), approaching from a near, medium or far distance from the junction.


Participants did not look at pedal cycles approaching from a far distance for as long as they looked at approaching motorcycles and cars, despite all vehicles travelling at identical speeds. No differences were found between pedal cyclists and non-pedal cyclists on any visual attention measures, indicating that pedal cycling experience was not associated with differences in drivers’ attention towards pedal cycles.


Findings have implications for road safety, demonstrating subtle differences in drivers’ every day visual attention towards differing vehicle types.


This research has the potential to inform the development of in-car technical assistive systems, improving the safety of vulnerable road users at junctions.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: attentional processes; visual search; simulation; bicycle safety; eye tracking
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Robbins, Chloe
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2018 07:49
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 19:40

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