New study on expectations and reality of safe overtaking maneuvers in bicycle traffic

Dangerous situations can develop when cyclists are overtaken by cars. How threatened or safe cyclists feel during an overtaking maneuver depends on the type of road. They expect to be safer on roads with a speed limit of 30 kilometers per hour (kph), as well as on living streets, bike streets, and roads with cycle lanes. If cars are allowed to drive faster and infrastructure for cyclists is absent, cyclists expect more dangerous overtaking maneuvers. But in reality, the passing distance of cars are actually contrary to this subjective impression of safety. On streets with reduced speed limits or bikeways, cyclists are passed with just as little or even less space than on other roads. This is shown in a study carried out by Dr. Rul von Stülpnagel of the Institute of Psychology and Nils Riach and Rafael Hologa of the Institute of Environmental Social Science and Geography of the University of Freiburg. The results have been published in the specialist journal Transportation Research Part F: Psychology and Behaviour.

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