Study: Driver Behavior Shows Greater Need for Protected Bike Lanes (War on Cars Watch)

A stripe of paint on the street isn’t enough to keep bicyclists safe from drivers, a new study confirms.

The study, published this month in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, analyzed the way drivers interact with cyclists on various types of streets. It found that drivers pass cyclists on average about 1.25 feet closer on streets with a painted bike lane and car parking than on streets with no bike infrastructure.

“When the cyclist and driver share a lane, the driver is required to perform an overtaking maneuver,” Dr. Ben Beck, Monash University’s Deputy Head of Prehospital, Emergency and Trauma Research and the lead researcher on the study, said in a statement. “This is in contrast to roads with a marked bicycle lane, where the driver is not required to overtake. This suggests that there less of a conscious requirement for drivers to provide additional passing distance.”