University of Southampton
Uploaded to Knowledge Centre
2 August 2023
Cyclists are one of the most over-represented types of road user in road traffic casualty and fatality statistics. These casualties and fatalities occur, in the overwhelming majority of cases, as a result of an interaction with a motorised vehicle.
This project sought to explore and understand some of those differences in terms of the understanding one group has of the ‘other’ and to improve inter-group understanding and empathy through crossmodal training. In short, the project asked if it is beneficial to train those who drive and do not usually cycle what it is like to be a ‘cyclist’, and, conversely, whether there is benefit in teaching those who cycle and do not usually drive what it is like to be a ‘driver’.
The training study invited two groups to participate, those that only drive and those that only cycle (i.e., ‘driver-cyclists’ were not included in this study), providing each with a seven-module, online training programme that aimed to teach them what it is like to be the ‘other’.
Results showed a beneficial impact of the training in both groups, with improvements in knowledge of the rules that govern the other and in the understanding of why road users perform certain behaviours. In many cases, improvements were sustained into the six-week follow up period.
This was true for cyclists trained to understand drivers and for drivers trained to understand cyclists. There were also improvements in the understanding of the skills required by users of the other mode in both groups; however, attitudes towards the ‘other’, although initially impacted by the training, were not significantly affected in the longer term.
Click the link below to read the full report, as well as to access the project pamphlet. You can also download the PowerPoint presentations for each module: