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Cycling experience makes for better drivers, suggests research

Cyclist-drivers are faster at spotting potential dangers on the road than those who only drive cars, according to new research.

CYCLISTS could make better drivers than people who don’t ride, new research has found

CYCLISTS could make better drivers than people who don’t ride, new research has found

Carried out by Dr Vanessa Beanland at the University of the Sunshine Coast, near Brisbane, Australia, and Lisa Hansen, of The Australian National University, Canberra, the study analysed a group of motorists aged between 30 and 50 who were split between those who had cycling experience and those who didn’t and carried out ‘situation awareness’ tests to see if motorists could spot changes in images featuring either a road sign, car, pedestrian, or bicycle.

The results show cyclist-drivers were significantly faster than drivers at identifying changes, with the effect being largest for bicycle and sign changes.

The news has been welcomed by leading UK cycling groups, who say that if more people cycled, then driving behaviour and attitudes towards road safety would improve.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.