Car drivers overtaking cyclists: A European perspective using naturalistic driving data
Paper in proceedings, 2017
In Europe, the number of road crashes is decreasing, while the number of crashes involving cyclists are not decreasing at the same rate as car crashes. Crashes which occur while the vehicle is overtaking a cyclist often result in severe injuries or fatalities. Understanding the behaviour of car drivers overtaking cyclists, can facilitate increased road safety through improved guidelines and policies, as well as in-vehicle technologies.
This study investigates how car drivers overtake cyclists on rural roads in four European countries by analysing the UDrive naturalistic driving data. One objective is to understand if, in different countries, there is a difference in the lateral distance when the car is passing the cyclist. Other objective is to investigate if the time-to-collision (TTC), at the start of the overtaking, affects the lateral distance when the car is passing the cyclist.
Minor differences between countries were found with respect to lateral distance. Greater lateral distance while passing cyclists was observed with increase in time-to-collision at the start of the overtaking. Furthermore, vehicle speed, distance between the lane edge and the cyclists, and the presence of leading vehicle significantly affected the driver comfort zone. The driver comfort zone during overtaking manoeuvres from naturalistic driving data could provide information for legislators and policy makers in Europe, as well as support safety system design in the automotive industry.