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How well can drivers judge the distance when passing bicycles? A controlled photographic study

O'Sullivan, S., Haworth, N, Legge, M.

Cyclists and Passing Distances

ARSC conference 2018

The evaluation of the Minimum Passing Distance Road Rule Trial in Queensland and earlier psychophysical research questions the ability of drivers to accurately judge the distance to cyclists they are passing. In an online survey, 196 Queensland drivers judged the passing distance in 36 photographs taken from the driver’s perspective. Participants were more accurate when the portrayed distance diverged from one metre to a greater extent, when the vehicle was large and when the cyclist portrayed was a male wearing lycra. Accuracy was not influenced by age, gender, whether the participants were cyclists, or reported frequency of passing cyclists.