A model of behavioural adaptation as a contributor to the safety-in-numbers effect for cyclists

Jason Hugh Thompson, Giovanni Savino, Mark Robert Stevenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The safety in numbers (SiN) effect is often invoked as a mechanism by which increasing numbers of vulnerable road users introduced into a transport network can result in reduced per-capita risk of collision resulting in injury or death. Mechanisms underlying SiN s function, however, have not been well described. Extending previous agent-based modelling work, this study explored the potential role of behavioural adaptation of drivers to the presence of cyclists that followed patterns of Rescorla-Wagner (R-W) learning models. Results indicated that SiN effects consistent with those present in real-world studies were replicable in a simulated environment, and that R-W model input settings were able to control the strength of the SiN effect in combination with the influence of increased cyclist density. The combined theoretical and simulation mod el presented here provides a novel means by which the potential safety effects of cycling policy settings and interventions may be academically and practically explored
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-75
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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