'Conflict is built into the way we design roads': Study shows cyclists in helmets perceived as ‘less human’

Australian researchers find data in line with similar findings from UK academic on the disadvantage of helmet wearing

Cyclist riding in London
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A significant proportion of the population fails to perceive cyclists fully as human beings, especially while wearing helmets, according to recent research carried out in Australia.

Carried out by Mark Limb from Queensland University of Technology and Sarah Collyer from Flinders University, the study shines a light on the dehumanising perceptions surrounding those travelling by two wheels, particularly those who choose to wear helmets or other forms of safety gear such as hi-vis vests. A report from Canadian Cycling magazine highlighted the findings from the Australian academics.

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Tom Thewlis

Tom has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2022 and his news stories, rider interviews and features appear both online and in the magazine. 

Since joining the team, he has reported from some of professional cycling's biggest races and events including the Tour de France and the World Championships in Glasgow. He has also covered races elsewhere across the world. 

As well as on the ground reporting, Tom writes race reports from the men's and women's WorldTour and helps with coverage of UK domestic cycling.