ARE YOU hoping to reduce accidents on the road?

Researchers from the University of Southampton are looking for drivers and cyclists to help them with a study which aims to limit the number of road accidents.

It was found that, on average, 124 cyclists are involved in collisions on Southampton roads each year, making up 16 percent of all accidents despite representing only 1.4 percent of everyday traffic.

As a result, the university’s transport research group - who have been funded for the project by Roads Safety Trust - are working with Cycling UK to develop new training programs which aim to help road users understand risky behaviours and improve their awareness of other road users.

As part of the research, they want cyclists, drivers and people who use both bicycles and cars on the roads to take part in focus groups, where they will discuss their views on a series of questions and scenarios.

Leader of the study Dr Katie Plant, lecturer in Human Factors in Engineering at the University of Southampton, said: “For most of us, training in road safety is limited to taking our cycling proficiency test at school and passing our driving test. This makes it very easy for our knowledge of traffic laws and the Highway Code to diminish over time.

“A high proportion of road accidents involve cyclists and drivers, two groups who are traditionally in conflict with each other. It is really important therefore that we get both groups involved to find out where the gaps in awareness lie.”

The focus groups will be co-ordinated by Matthew Webster, a senior research assistant at the university who is also an elite level cyclist.

He said: “By taking part in the group discussions, the Southampton community can help us develop a major programme for cyclist and driver safety. As well as reducing accidents, we can hopefully create an environment where more people feel confident about making their journeys by bike and can enjoy the health benefits of cycling.”

To take part, contact Matthew at