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The University of Southampton

Research project: CRoss-modal Intervention To Improve Cyclist Awareness Levels (CRITICAL)

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This project aims to investigate whether cross-modal training can enhance safety between two road user groups that have traditionally resulted in a high proportion of accidents.

Cyclists are disproportionately represented in accident statistics; for every 26 car drivers killed or seriously injured per billion vehicle miles, 1,011 pedal cyclists are killed or seriously injured. Typical cycling accidents include the motorist emerging into, or turning across, the path of the cyclist and cyclists’ riding off the pavement into the path of a vehicle or making right turns into the path of a vehicle. These dangerous interactions can be understood from the perspective of incompatible situation awareness therefore different road users interpreting the same road situation differently.

The research will use a Cross-Modal training approach, where different road users receive training on how another road user interprets the road situation and behaves in different situations. Car drivers will be trained on how a cyclist interprets the road situation and how might they behave, i.e. what it is like to be a cyclist and cyclists will be trained on how a driver interprets the road situations and how they might behave, i.e. what it is like to be a driver.

The project has been split into two elements a theoretical and practical course. The theoretical side aims to enhance your competency and teaches drivers and cyclists theory-based content about the opposite road user group from three components; knowledge (what we know about something), skills (our physical abilities to perform a task) and attitudes (the beliefs we hold). The practical course aims to achieve similar goals to the theoretical course but instead, the driver and cyclists are given first-hand experience of the opposite road user group. So, drivers will be taught how to be a cyclist by a fully qualified instructor supplied by our project partner CyclingUK and the cyclists will be placed in the driving simulator room (SUDS) and given the opportunity to drive a range of scenarios involving common driving interactions.

By the end of the project, two cross-modal training programmes will have been developed and longitudinally evaluated to understand the resilience of the training interventions. After the project, it is intended that these programs will be available to relevant stakeholders to roll out as a legacy of the project.

The Road Safety Trust

Related research groups

Transportation Group
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