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kabloemski

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Spotted this on Twitter today, very interesting, I would love some feedback if you have any, please!

"@nsaikia Women cyclists, implicit bias, and helmet pigtails: http://fitisafeministissue.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/women-cyclists-judgements-about-competency-and-safer-riding/
Where fitness is a feminist issue"

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Want to get more room on the road while riding your bike? Here’s one way. Have drivers judge that you’re female.

Study after study shows that drivers give more room when passing female cyclists. They also give more room to riders without helmets but that’s another issue.

The original study was done in England by Ian Walker.

“Research suggests drivers tend to believe helmeted cyclists are more serious and less likely to make unexpected moves … the helmet effect seen here is likely a behavioural manifestation of this belief. The gender effect could be the result of female cyclists being rarer than male cyclists in the UK, or it may again be related to drivers’ perceptions of rider experience and predictability.”

You can read about it here:  http://drianwalker.com/overtaking/overtakingprobrief.pdf

His results have since been duplicated in the United States. The US study found that on average drivers passed cyclists more closely when cyclists were dressed in “bicycle attire” and if the cyclist was male. The study was unable to determine the reasons on this passing behavior and the authors of the study speculated that, “it [was] possible that motorists perceived less risk passing riders who were in [a] bicycle outfit.”
You can read about this study here:  http://www.bikesd.org/2011/10/25/florida-dot-study-reconfirms-ian-walkers-conclusions

It’s a bit of a double edged sword really. Who doesn’t want to be safer riding in traffic? But there’s no explanation of the why of this phenomena that doesn’t give off a whiff of sexism. Some researchers speculate it’s old fashioned chivalry, being nice to the ladies. But others raise the more worrying possibility that it’s because female riders are judged less competent, more wobbly, and less able to hold their line.

And like the implicit bias studies with which philosophers concerned with equity in academia are familiar, the sex of the automobile driver doesn’t matter. Both women and men behind the wheel of a car give female riders more room.

http://fitisafeministissue.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/women-cyclists-judgements-about-competency-and-safer-riding/
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  • Hey, Bart! Your epidermis is showing!

    LukasCPH

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    So that's what this was all about:

     ;)

    On a more serious note, I'm fortunate to live in an area where cyclists (of any kind) are considered the most important traffic participants, have their own dedicated bikepaths (more like bike lanes really) and generally get much room.
    And even if I'm out on country roads, whenever a car passes me it does so with enough room to spare that I only very rarely feel unsafe.
    I think that giving female cyclists more room is a subconscious decision - what lies behind it I can't tell though. I can tell you that dressing like a woman on the bike isn't the solution though, not even short-term; educating drivers and passing and enacting sensible traffic laws is.
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  • 2017 0711|CYCLING PR Manager; 2016 Stölting Content Editor
    Views presented are my own.
    RIP Keith

    L'arri

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    I'm not sure I understand what the writer wants to say but I haven't really noticed whether or not female riders get a wider berth or not because I'm not usually looking out for that when I'm riding.

    What I do know is that it's a lotto with traffic. Some drivers are really crap, others unusually considerate, but only a tiny minority deliberately drive like sh*theels.

    Most times when you have a close shave it's down to an error on your part (and your ability to admit it) or inexperience on theirs: SUVs are often the worst for that because their drivers frequently have no appreciation of the proper dimensions or comportment of their vehicle.
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  • Cycling is a Europe thing only and I only watch from Omloop on cause I am cool and sh*t
    RIP Craig1985 / Craig Walsh
    RIP KeithJamesMc / Keith McMahon

    Blackbandit222

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    Well overall women cyclists are less common to see on the road, so drivers like to slow down and see what brand of bike their riding.
     ;)
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  • Sagan supporter.

    kabloemski

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    Ha ha, BB, with Sagasm's face staring up at me when you say that!
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  • kabloemski

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    Any lady cyclists had a similar experience? I haven't been on a road in years, Stellenbosch has plenty narrow one way lanes and young students driving like lunatics, went flying over the handlebars once, saw it coming, did manage to break first, but still ruined my favourite pair of denims. Overall I felt quite unsafe, and that was in town. In SA I might say that some motorists often just hate cyclists, full stop. I think we do have a problem with bad road safety numbers, one of the worst last I checked. And loads unlicensed drivers. Loved it in Europe (Liechtenstein/Switzerland & Austria) felt supersafe, people were considerate.
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