Survey of Culture Amongst Groups of Different Transportation Mode Users to Promote Safe Inter-Model Interactions

UniversityMontana State University
Principal InvestigatorsNic Ward, Center for Health and Safety Culture
PI Contact Information406-994-5942 •

Western Transportation Institute
Montana State University
PO Box 174250, Bozeman, MT 59717

Funding Source(s) (Amounts provided by each agency or organization)

Small Urban and Rural Livability Center – SURLC UTC

Total Project Cost $198,682
Agency ID or Contract Number

SURLC (MSU: 4W6636)

End DateMay 31, 2019


Brief Description of Research Project

This project examined the influence of traffic safety culture on a driver’s behavior when interacting with bicyclists on the roadway. The Center for Health and Safety Culture designed and implemented a survey in Bozeman, MT and Fargo, ND to characterize the traffic safety culture of groups defined by a preferred mode of transportation regarding behavior interactions with other modes that can increase conflicts affecting mode safety. Basic analysis produced individual summary reports of key results with recommendations for strategies to increase support and engagement in alternative commuting modes.

Implementation of Research Outcomes (or why not implemented)Bicyclist safety is a growing concern as more adults use this form of transportation for recreation, exercise, and mobility. Most bicyclist fatalities result from a crash with a vehicle, and the behaviors of the driver are often responsible for the crash. The researchers who conducted the survey study found that prosocial driver behavior was most common and appeared to be intentional. They also found that this intention was increased by positive attitudes, normative perceptions, and perceived control. While the findings have not yet been implemented, they can be used to develop strategies to increase prosocial intentions and driver behavior, thereby increasing bicyclist safety.
Impacts/Benefits of Implementation (actual, not anticipated)
Web LinksThe primary deliverable for this project was a journal article. The Journal of Safety Research has published an article by the researchers summarizing the findings of this study: that examines the influence of traffic safety culture on a driver’s behavior when interacting with bicyclists on the roadway. CITATION: Ward, N. J., Finley, K., Otto, J., Kack, D., Gleason, R., & Lonsdale, T. (2020). Traffic safety culture and prosocial driver behavior for safer vehicle-bicyclist interactions. Journal of Safety Research.