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Safer cycling in the urban road environment: study approach and protocols guiding an Australian study
  1. Mark Stevenson1,
  2. Marilyn Johnson2,
  3. Jennie Oxley1,
  4. Lynn Meuleners3,
  5. Belinda Gabbe4,
  6. Geoffrey Rose2
  1. 1Monash University Accident Research Centre, Monash Injury Research Institute, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  2. 2Faculty of Engineering, Institute of Transport Studies, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  3. 3Curtin-Monash Accident Research Centre, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
  4. 4School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Mark Stevenson, Monash University Accident Research Centre, Building 70, Clayton Campus, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC 3800, Australia; Mark.stevenson{at}monash.edu

Abstract

Background Much of the research into cyclist safety in Australia has focused on behaviour with less focus on the impact of the urban transport environment on cyclist safety. A greater understanding of the urban transport system and the improvements needed to create a safer cycling environment are essential if cyclists are to be safe and increased cycling participation targets are to be achieved. The proposed study will use existing cyclist crash data along with unique cyclist exposure data to develop road infrastructure prototypes that improve cyclists’ safety and evaluate the effectiveness of these prototypes in a cycling simulator.

Methods and design This study will be conducted in two Australian cities namely Perth and Melbourne as both cities have policies that strongly advocate cycling. Two methods of data collection will be employed: (1) in-depth crash investigations of injured cyclists; and (2) video footage of cyclist exposure through a naturalistic cycling study of non-injured cyclists. The findings from these two methods will be used to develop new urban road design prototypes which will be tested with a sample of cyclists and motorists in safe environment namely, a cycling simulator and a driving simulator.

Discussion By designing and evaluating safer environments for cyclists, this study will identify solutions that reduce the risk of road trauma and importantly, support this alternative mode of transport and thereby contribute to a reduction in traffic-related emissions and pollution and enhance sustainable economic and social connectivity.

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