Thinking aloud on the road: Thematic differences in the experiences of drivers, cyclists, and motorcyclists

This study takes a qualitative approach to exploring the experiences (and differences therein) of individuals using either their car, bicycle, or motorcycle to navigate a ∼10.5 km urban route in a provincial UK city, with the aim of contributing to the understanding of the needs and requirements of different road users. Forty-six individuals provided concurrent verbal reports, using the ‘think aloud’ method, whilst using their vehicle to navigate the test route, the transcripts of which were subjected to a theory-agnostic, inductive, thematic analysis. A number of group differences were observed, revealing (among other factors) the importance of road surface quality to cyclists, the focus on vigilant observation in motorcyclists, and the heightened emotionality experienced by both two-wheeled groups, particularly those on bicycles. This affective component has, as yet, been under-explored in the academic domain and under-utilized in road transport policy and strategy; this is discussed, with attention drawn to the cyclists’ greater tendency to make negatively valenced value judgements. Results are also discussed in terms of the potential to improve road users’ experiences, foster inter-group empathy and understanding, and encourage a shift in mobility towards more sustainable modes.


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01790412
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 6 2021 8:44AM