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 Laser rescue system for serious accidents
29.11.2016 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

nachricht Bremen University students reach the final at robotics competition with parcel delivery robot
19.10.2016 | BIBA - Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik

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: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>