Bicyclists Beware: Drivers Don't Look For You Before Turning

iStock

More than half of all drivers at a busy intersection in Toronto, Canada, failed to look for pedestrians or bicyclists before making a right turn. That’s according to a small study conducted by researchers from the University of Toronto Engineering using eye-tracking equipment.

The researchers cited a string of vehicle-pedestrian and vehicle-bicyclist crashes in downtown Toronto this summer, resulting in a number of fatalities and noted that intersections in urban areas put several mental and visual demands on drivers. Their study involved 19 drivers 35 to 54 with at least three years of driving experience who were required to make a right turn through a bike lane at one of two busy intersections in the city.

Eleven of the 19 drivers didn’t check — look over their shoulder, for example — where a cyclist or pedestrian would be before turning. The researchers found that this problem was exacerbated when parked cars blocked the drivers’ view of the bike lane and when the driver was more familiar with the area.

Sourced from: University of Toronto Engineering News