Risk perception in urban interactions involving cyclists: impact of experience and feeling of control

[Speaker] Chaurand, Nadine:1
[Co-author] Cestac, Julien:1
1:IFSTTAR (France)

Risk perception, determined by objective risk, situational and environmental factors, and personal traits, can be inaccurate (Rundmo et al., 2011; Sjoberg, 2000). Although well studied in traffic psychology, risk perception is not documented for cyclists. We conducted several studies to fill this gap.
In a first study, cyclists evaluated the frequency and subjective risk of 24 urban interaction situations. In a second study, participants assessed the frequency and subjective risk, from the car driver or cyclist point of view, of 6 interaction situations. A third study focused on interactions between cyclists and bus drivers. Results show that subjective risk is correlated negatively to cycling proficiency and positively to safety attachment. The differences in perceived risk between "cyclist" and "other user" points of view stress the importance of the feeling of control on the situation. The implications of these results for theoretical models and for improving urban cycling safety are discussed.
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