A significant proportion of the population fails to perceive cyclists fully as human beings, especially while wearing helmets, according to recent research carried out in Australia.
Carried out by Mark Limb from Queensland University of Technology and Sarah Collyer from Flinders University, the study shines a light on the dehumanising perceptions surrounding those travelling by two wheels, particularly those who choose to wear helmets or other forms of safety gear such as hi-vis vests. A report from Canadian Cycling magazine highlighted the findings from the Australian academics.
Published in part F of the scientific journal Transportation Research under the sub-heading titled Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, the research looked to delve into the cynical and negative views towards cyclists that impact efforts to promote the sport and leisure activity down under.
In order to achieve this aim, Flinders and Limb used a survey to collect the views of 563 participants about cyclists and looked to then provide evidence to explain the reasoning behind these negative perceptions that they’ve discovered.
The study claimed that out of all of the survey participants, 30 percent of the 563 involved viewed cyclists as “less than fully human”. Flinders and Limb specifically investigated how wearing helmets and other safety clothing might influence people’s views.
Cyclists with helmets were perceived as less human compared to those without, while cyclists with safety vests and no helmets were perceived as least human.
The research carried out in Australia bore some similarities to that of UK academic Ian Walker , who previously carried out extensive […]