In 2006, the EPSRC funded a project to investigate how drivers overtake bicyclists. We modified a bicycle subtly to carry a video system and an accurate ultrasonic distance sensor that could record the proximities of each passing vehicle. I then used this to collect naturalistic behavioural data from over 2200 motorists in real traffic environments in the UK. This was followed by another study which collected an even larger dataset.

There are three key papers arising from this work:

For those wanting to explore the data, here is the complete raw data set (Excel format) from the original 2007 paper. (Word to the wise: you'll probably want to start with a square-root transform on the passing distances before using parametric statistics.)

Finally, a lot of people have contacted me about making their own sensor to do similar reserach. I've published free plans (free as in beer and as in speech) for how to make a cheap Arduino-based device to stick on the back of your bike. Overtaking sensor plans.

Want to find me on social media?

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