Study: 70% of London cyclists are paranoid that drivers are out to get them

Paranoia – 70% of London cyclists feel that drivers are out to get them, a study has suggested (Picture: Getty)

Nearly three quarters of London cyclists feel that drivers are out to get them, a study has suggested.

According to the research, which looked at people’s levels of paranoia when on a bike, 70% of London cyclists felt that drivers were hostile to them, wanted to upset them, or had it in for them.

The research published in the journal Psychiatry Research and led by Lyn Ellet from Royal Holloway, University of London, studied 323 cyclists in London aged between 18-66, using a series of questions to gauge their levels of paranoia when on a bike.

This was in contrast to how paranoid the cyclists questioned were in general.

Study – the study asked cyclists specific questions about how they feel about drivers (Picture: Getty)

“The present research indicates that paranoia towards motor vehicle users may be common when cycling in London,” the study said, “and that far from being a pathological response, observed state paranoia is an understandable response to an urban environment containing significant and very real threat.

“The present findings reinforce and add a further dimension to the pressing public health need to focus on and protect urban cyclists.”


According to the study, 58% of cyclists felt drivers were hostile to them; 45% believed drivers wanted to upset them; 29% thought drivers wanted to harm them; and 50% said drivers “have it in for me”.

The study also looked into paranoia among people travelling on London’s tube system, but found that paranoid levels were much lower, with more of a correlation between how paranoid people felt on the tube and their general levels of paranoia.