Examination of Driver Behavior in Response to Bicyclist Behaviors

Bicyclists are at heightened vulnerability in the transportation system, compared to motor vehicle drivers, who have the advantage of being protected by the vehicle in which they drive. Intersections and trail crossings are particularly problematic, representing the majority of bicycle-motor vehicle crash locations. Non-intersections are important as well, though less frequent, as they have higher likelihood of fatalities, compared to intersection crashes. Therefore, the aim of this study was examine the influence of age, gender, and bicycle-specific infrastructure on driver performance in common bicycle-motor vehicle interactions. This project utilized a priori literature and a naturalistic bicycling dataset to identify and develop common bicycle-motor vehicle interactions and circumstances leading to safety-critical events. These events were then tested with a between-subjects design in a high-fidelity driving simulator to examine driver performance. The tested events included an overtaking event with and without shared lane arrow markings, a right turn across path with a bicycle lane present, and a bicycle path mid-block crossing. All bicyclist avatars presented during these events were female. A total of 48 participants completed the study. Results showed that participants in the shared lane arrows condition gave more space when overtaking, compared to the no shared lane arrow condition. Wait times and speed were found to vary by age in the right turn across path with a bicycle lane present event. No age or gender differences were found related to driving performance outcomes for the bicycle path mid-block crossing event. No collisions occurred between the bicyclist and motor vehicle for any of the three tested events. While these results are informative, further research is recommended to better understand the impact of age, bicyclist gender, and bicycle specific infrastructure, such as shared lane arrows and bicycle lanes, in relation to crash and injury outcomes.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Iowa, Iowa City

    Occupational and Environmental Health
    Iowa City, IA  United States 

    Safety Research Using Simulation University Transportation Center (SaferSim)

    University of Iowa
    Iowa City, IA  United States  52242

    Toyota Motor Company


    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Hamann, Cara J
    • Schwarz, Chris
    • Soniyi, Omotoyosi
  • Publication Date: 2016-6


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 71p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01608626
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Created Date: Jul 20 2016 7:52AM