An urban planner has launched a survey to find out if certain types of clothing can make cyclists seem 'less human'.
Dr Mark Limb, from Brisbane, was inspired by a 2019 study that found more than half of car drivers in Australia think cyclists are 'not completely human'.
The research suggested that this dehumanisation was one of the main triggers for deliberate acts of aggression towards riders.
Dr Limb is an urban planning lecturer with Queensland University of Technology's School of Architecture and Built Environment whose research areas include land use planning and active transport, such as cycling.
He is also a cyclist and hopes his pilot study will provide more insights into the ever so slightly fragile relationship between bike riders and drivers.
He said: “Previous research has already established that many drivers see cyclists as less than human.
"It’s also shown a link between belief and behaviour – the more someone thought a cyclist was less than human, the more likely they were to do something dangerous, like driving too close to them.
"What I’m investigating is why people have these dehumanising attitudes towards cyclists – my main question is: Is it because of the way they look?”
Dr Limb needs at least 400 people to complete the online survey, which will show them pairs of photos of cyclists wearing different sorts of attire, Mirage News report.
“They will be presented with random pairs of photographs and be asked to select the photo that they instinctively feel looks ‘less human’,” he said.
“The survey can be completed by anyone aged 18 and over who is a resident of Australia.”