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Hum Factors. 2018 Nov;60(7):889-901. doi: 10.1177/0018720818778960. Epub 2018 Jun 15.

Drivers' Visual Search Behavior Toward Vulnerable Road Users at Junctions as a Function of Cycling Experience.

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University of Nottingham, UK.



The current study investigated the behavior and visual attention of two groups of drivers with differing pedal cycling experience (pedal cyclists and nonpedal 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 license 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 nonpedal cyclists on any visual attention measures, indicating that pedal cycling experience was not associated with differences in drivers' attention toward pedal cycles.


Findings have implications for road safety, demonstrating subtle differences in drivers' everyday visual attention toward 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.


attentional processes; bicycle safety; eye tracking; simulation; visual search

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