Modelling cyclists’ comfort zones from obstacle avoidance manoeuvres

Oliver Lee, Alexander Rasch, Arend L. Schwab*, Marco Dozza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
128 Downloads (Pure)


This paper introduces a framework for modelling the cyclist's comfort zone. Unlike the driver's comfort zone, little is known about the cyclist's. The framework draws on existing literature in cognitive science about driver behaviour to explain experimental results from cycling field trials, and the modelling of these results. We modelled braking and steering manoeuvres from field data of cyclists’ obstacle avoidance within their comfort zone. Results show that when cyclists avoided obstacles by braking, they kept a constant deceleration; as speed increased, they started to brake earlier, farther from the obstacle, maintaining an almost constant time to collision. When cyclists avoided obstacles by steering, they maintained a constant distance from the object, independent of speed. Overall, the higher the speed, the more the steering manoeuvres were temporally delayed compared to braking manoeuvres. We discuss these results and other similarities between cyclist and driver behaviour during obstacle avoidance. Implications for the design of acceptable active safety and infrastructure design are also addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105609
Number of pages8
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Cycling behaviour
  • Cycling safety
  • Cyclist comfort zone
  • Cyclist interaction
  • Threat avoidance


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