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The University of Southampton

Online training course launched to improve driver decision-making around cyclists

Published: 30 June 2020
Person riding racing bike
Cyclists are disproportionately represented in accident statistics in the UK

Human Factors researchers at the University of Southampton have unveiled a new driving course that builds understanding of behaviours to help lower the number of collisions with cyclists.

A team from the University’s Transportation Research Group developed the course in partnership with Cycling UK to complement advanced driving tests.

Cyclists are involved in 16% of all accidents in Southampton despite representing only 1.4% of daily traffic. More people are also expected to travel by car and bicycle in the coming months during a decline in public transport use as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The online course is the final product of studies carried out by researchers over the past year, which has included gathering information from volunteer drivers and cyclists on their day to day journeys and from focus group discussions.

Dr Katie Plant, who is leading the study, says: “Despite it being such a high risk scenario, cyclists do not feature as part of the standard driving test and many of us will never revisit the Highway Code once we have passed. So as a result, a lot of people don’t understand how to interact with cyclists on the roads.”

A similar course to help cyclists understand car users better will follow later this year, including a practical session in the University’s driving simulator, subject to COVID-19 safety precautions.

Read the full story on the main news page.

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