Motoring website's video looks at attitudes of drivers & cyclists... but misses point they're often the same (+ video)

Video is an engaging way to present survey findings... but website perptuates "two tribes" myth

by Simon_MacMichael   March 4, 2013  

Cyclists vs Drivers YouTube still from

The website has released a video that summarises the findings of research conducted among cyclists and motorists regarding their perceptions of each other – but misses the point that many people who drive cars also ride bikes, and vice-versa.

The short film – it clocks in at a little over a minute – does a reasonably good job of clearly presenting some of the survey findings in a way that’s perhaps more engaging than setting them out in a few paragraphs of text.

It goes by the title, Cyclists vs Motorists, A Difference in Perception, and while your view of the road and experience of using it may vary depending on the mode of transpotr you're using, it strikes us the website has missed a crucial point – namely, that motorists and cyclists are more often than not one and the same person.

The vast majority of adult cyclists hold a driving licence, and research shows that car ownership is actually higher than average among those who cycle regularly.

Nevertheless, after the video, invites site users to “Please comment below and tell us what annoys you about cyclists.”

Here’s what the website says in its introduction to the video: recently surveyed two specific road-using tribes, who at times, don’t always see eye-to-eye. The tribes were motorists and cyclists. More than 500 people’s perceptions of other road users were logged, with questions ranging from the most annoying cycling habits to how safe cyclists feel when they are on the road.

The use of the word “tribes” is particularly worthy of note, since it’s the same one AA president Edmund King used last year when he called for an end to the “two tribes mentality” that often sees cyclists and motorists viewed as distinct, mutually inclusive groups.

Writing in the AA Magazine in November, Mr King said: “We really must get past the dangerous ‘them and us’ mentality that sours interactions between different groups (and even sub-groups) of road users – be they pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists or drivers of vehicles large and small.

The AA may be the UK’s largest motoring organisation, but it seems that wasn’t paying attention to the man who runs it…

8 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

i have to agree with the findings!
the only one not mentioned was running red lights!
that really annoys me.

if you asked me what annoys me about motorists - i'd probably end up with the same list! Smile

it is more to do with the behaviours of the road users rather than the individual's choice of transport.

posted by dbb [34 posts]
4th March 2013 - 16:56


I don't have a driving licence. I don't give a shit what drivers think of me. Nor do I lose a moment's sleep over whether my cycling inconveniences them. Does that make me a bad person? I have never broken a single law as laid out in the Highway Code, and I've never come remotely close to endangering another road user. I doubt 99.99% of motorists could say the same.

posted by ubercurmudgeon [170 posts]
4th March 2013 - 19:33


Seriously? Not a single criticism of motorists included

Well that's me convinced - cyclists are clearly the whole problem and should all be taken out back and whipped


Buddha said:

Believe nothing, No matter where you read it,
Or who has said it, Not even if I have said it,
Unless it agrees with your own reason
And your own common sense.

mad_scot_rider's picture

posted by mad_scot_rider [586 posts]
4th March 2013 - 20:31


Yup completely missing the point and completely biased

I often see drivers weave in and out of traffic on m-ways etc to get ahead, often without signalling.

On the up side, one of the cyclists seems to be riding a Moulton Mk3 Smile

posted by gazza_d [421 posts]
4th March 2013 - 21:08


Completely biased. How about x% of motorists are too busy using their mobiles to notice anything, y% exceed speed limit (have been known to do it myself), but no, those statistics won't show cyclists as a problem. Come on and remember scott Johnson's view of statistics - they're like a bikini because they show you lots but not everything.

posted by matttheaudit [71 posts]
4th March 2013 - 21:23


Anyone like to ride to 8 St. John Street, Manchester, M3 4DU and record a video of you asking them WHAT THE HELL THEY'RE PLAYING AT? That's a video I'd watch!

posted by a.jumper [833 posts]
4th March 2013 - 21:28


Question to cyclist: "How bad are you?"
Question to motorist: "How bad are cyclists?"

Oh FFS. This isn't a survey. It's an adventure playground in stupidity. Fortunately, even the comments on the website are almost entirely negative.

posted by Argos74 [351 posts]
5th March 2013 - 8:16


61% of cyclists said driving on the road was dangerous. Where on earth did they get that from? There are lies Damned lies and then there are statistics.


posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [734 posts]
6th March 2013 - 10:26