Interactions between car drivers and cyclists: A naturalistic perspective on gaze behavior in right-turn maneuvers
Paper in proceedings, 2017
Failure to perform appropriate visual checks at intersections may have contributed to the 2069 cyclist fatalities in the European Union in 2015. This study investigates whether and when car drivers perform visual checks for potentially encroaching cyclists during right-turn maneuvers at urban intersections. UDrive naturalistic data from instrumented vehicles in France, the Netherlands, Poland, and Great Britain were used. The dataset consisted of 852 right-turn maneuvers (UK: left-turn, throughout this document) across 56 drivers. In the six seconds prior to the maneuver, drivers checked their blind spot in 4% of the cases. This frequency increased to 8% when the maneuver was included. The prevalence of cyclist facilities was highest in the Netherlands, which is also the country where blind spot checks were performed most often. When not checking the blind spot, drivers mostly looked toward the road they were turning into. Country predicted neither the timing of sideway glances, nor whether there was any (right) sideways glance. Our findings may inform driver training to increase awareness of cyclists at urban intersections, as well as the design of other traffic safety measures.