Public Health Seminar Series:

Drivers' attitudes about bicyclists: roadway norms, implicit bias, and implications for safety by Tara Goddard

Monday, May 8, 2017 12:00pm CalIT2, Auditorium OCW Video Archive
Seminar Abstract

Although traffic deaths in the United States have declined since the 1970s, car crashes remain a leading cause of death. Vulnerable road users (VRUs) like bicyclists and pedestrians continue to be injured or killed at rates that outpace their mode share or miles traveled. In the United States, bicyclists are twelve times more likely to be killed in a traffic crash than car occupants. Existing research into crash causation has focused on instrumental factors (e.g. intersection type, vehicle speed) but little research has probed the role of attitudes or socio-cognitive mechanisms in interactions between roadway users. This presentation will highlight the need to understand drivers’ attitudes toward bicyclists, and how those attitudes may affect drivers’ behavior. The research addresses a largely unexplored area of research, particularly in the United States. Dr. Goddard provides evidence that implicit methods used in psychology deserve consideration by travel behavior researchers. The full research effort represents the most comprehensive exploration to date of United States drivers' attitudes and self-report behaviors toward bicyclists. These attitudes toward bicyclists, and their relationship with self-reported safety-related behaviors, suggest potential educational, legal, programmatic, and infrastructural interventions to improve road safety for vulnerable users, such as bicyclists.

Speaker Biography - Tara Goddard

Tara Goddard
Tara Goddard PhD
Tara Goddard recently earned her PhD in Urban Studies from the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University, where her dissertation research explored drivers’ attitudes and behaviors toward bicyclists. She holds a Masters in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Davis, and served from 2007 through 2011 as the Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator for the City of Davis, CA. Ms. Goddard's research interests include all things transportation safety-related, but in particular, the intersections of transportation and social psychology and their influence on differential experiences and safety outcomes for vulnerable road users.

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