Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

White Van Man is a danger to cyclists, research finds

06.07.2006
New research has proved what many of us have long suspected: white van man is a danger on the roads.

Drivers of white vans overtake cyclists an average 10 centimetres (4 inches) closer than car drivers, according to new research.

Using a special bike fitted with a video camera and an ultrasonic distance sensor, Dr Ian Walker from the University of Bath has cycled over 300 km (186 miles) in Bristol and Salisbury over the last two months.

During this time he has been overtaken by around 2,500 vehicles, and each time the sensors recorded the type of vehicle and the distance at which it passed the bike.

In total about 200 of these vehicles were white light good vehicles, which gave an average passing distance of 1.26 metres (just over 4 feet 1 inch).

However, the drivers of the 200 black cars which overtook Dr Walker – chosen for comparison because there was a comparable number with white vans – allowed cyclists an extra 10 centimetres at 1.36 metres (4 feet 5 ½ inches).

“At the kinds of speeds and distances that cyclists are overtaken on our city streets, reducing the gap between cyclist and vehicle can have life-threatening safety implications,” said Dr Walker, a researcher in the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath.

“Why white van drivers overtake closer is not clear; it could be a range of things, from social or personality factors, to the length and width of the vans, or even the stereotypical machismo of white van man.

“Being able to measure the passing distances that different vehicle drivers give to cyclists and other vulnerable road users is the first step in identifying some of the issues that put them most at risk.

“More than 2,000 cyclists are seriously injured in road accidents each year, and 100 die. By looking scientifically at the issues that compromise their safety we can try and find ways of tackling the root causes of some of these accidents.

“Being hit by an overtaking vehicle is extremely dangerous for a cyclist. If we understood what determines how close drivers get to cyclists as they overtake, we could do something to make collisions less likely, either in the way we construct our roads or, more likely, with advice to drivers about how they should drive and to cyclists about how they should ride.”

Dr Walker will be talking about some of his early research findings at a meeting of the Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath, on Tuesday 11 July 2006 (7.30 – 9pm).

The Highway Code advises drivers to give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as they would a car when overtaking. It also advises drivers to give these vulnerable road users ‘plenty of room’.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, every year in this country over 15,000 cyclists are killed or injured in reported road accidents, including more than 2,100 who are killed or seriously injured.

Dr Walker is a keen cyclist and recently completed the journey from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

The research is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council as part of its Transportation Operations and Management research programme.

Andrew McLaughlin | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/articles/releases/whitevanman050706.html

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht A helping (Sens)Hand
11.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

nachricht Study sets new distance record for medical drone transport
13.09.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>