Car driver attitudes, perceptions of social norms and aggressive driving behaviour towards cyclists

Laura S Fruhen, Rhona Flin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)


The interaction of car drivers and cyclists is one of the main causes of cycle incidents. The role of attitudes and social norms in shaping car drivers' aggressive behaviour towards cyclists, is not well understood and merits investigation. A sample of 276 drivers completed an online questionnaire concerning their attitudes towards cyclists, attitudes towards risky driving, perception of social norms concerning aggressive driving towards cyclists, and the frequency with which they engage in such aggressive driving behaviours. The results showed that attitudes towards cyclists, as well as social norm perceptions concerning aggressive driving towards cyclists, were associated with aggressive driving towards cyclists. Negative attitudes towards cyclists were more pronounced in non-cyclists than cyclists and their association with aggressive driving behaviour was stronger in cyclists than non-cyclists. The perception of social norms concerning aggressive driving towards cyclists had a stronger association with aggressive driving in non-cyclists than cyclists. Attitudes towards risk taking did not affect aggressive driving towards cyclists. These findings can inform campaigns that aim to improve cyclist and car driver interaction on the roads, making them safer to use for cyclists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-170
Number of pages9
JournalAccident Analysis & Prevention
Early online date10 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015



  • cyclists
  • car drivers
  • aggressive driving
  • attitudes
  • social norms

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