Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

The effect of safety attire on perceptions of cyclist dehumanisation

Elsevier – Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, Volume 95, May 2023, Pages 494-509 . The effect of safety attire on perceptions of cyclist dehumanisation [full text – no fee]

  • 30 % of respondents (n = 563) considered cyclists less than fully human.’
  • Cyclists with helmets were perceived as less human compared to those without.
  • Cyclists with safety vests and no helmets were perceived as least human.
  • Dehumanisation related more to visible safety gear than obstruction of hair/eyes.
  • Perceptions of dehumanisation varies based on respondent gender.

“Increasing the uptake of active, carbon neutral forms of transport is indicated for both population health and environmental conservation. Efforts to increase cycling uptake are hindered by negative attitudes towards cyclists. Recent research from Australia has found that many people consider cyclists to be less than fully human. There is currently a lack of empirical evidence that explains these dehumanising perceptions. Most people who ride bicycles in Australia wear safety helmets as required by mandatory helmet laws. We hypothesised that people wearing bicycle helmets are perceived as less human compared to people without helmets due to reduced visibility of eyes and hair. We tested this hypothesis through a survey (n = 563) comprised of two-paired alternate forced choice questions to identify which image of a cyclist respondents consider to be less human. We then analysed the results using a Bradley-Terry probability model. We found images of cyclists wearing helmets or safety vests to have a higher probability of being selected as less human compared to images of cyclists wearing no safety equipment. The results have implications for research on cyclist dehumanisation and its mitigation.”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.