British Cycling has released stats on BBC Radio 5 Live on 13 December revealing that 36% - or one in three - of the accidents its members are involved in occur at junctions or roundabouts. This figure excludes those accidents that occur during competition.
This revelation has led British Cycling to call for a bigger investment to be made at roundabouts and junctions in order to enhance the cyclists’ safety on Britain’s roads.
Not only this, but less than 2% of the incidents reported to British Cycling in the first half of the year involved road rage, which indicates that War on Britain's Roads, the title of the BBC’s controversial documentary that was aired the previous week, was perhaps not a true indication of the level of road rage directed towards cyclists.
The results were taken from a database of 398 incidents that occurred between 1 April and 30 September 2012, with Chris Boardman highlighting: “It’s important that we put these figures into perspective.
“Of British Cycling’s 63,000 members, only 398 – that’s much less than even 1% - have reported incidents to us in the past six months.
“The figures also show that it is clearly not a war out there. Only six of our 398 incidents involved road rage.
“We need to concentrate on what can be done to transform the culture of cycling in this country and think long term about how we want this country to look in ten years.”
British Cycling’s Martin Gibbs added: “The figures behind our members’ incidents paint a pretty clear picture.
"In order to improve conditions for cyclists on the road, greater investment needs to go into junction design and infrastructure.
“We need the government to put cycling at the heart of its transport policy – with a commitment to turn this country into a cycling nation to rival great countries like Holland and Denmark.”
“All road users have a responsibility to look out for and respect each other. This isn’t about being anti-car – in fact, nine out of ten British Cycling members also drive. Any incident on the roads is one too many and we will continue to push decision makers to ensure cycling is given the priority it deserves.”
The next most common cause of accidents involving cyclists is reported to be dangerous or incorrect manoeuvres - 20% of this total was due to the driver pulling out without looking first made up 20%, while 16% were caused by the cyclist being negligent or making a wrong judgement, and 12% were because of poor road surface or an obstruction faced by the cyclist.
Safety tips for cyclists and motorists alike:
Drivers, Think Cyclist!
- Always check for cyclists in your mirrors and your blind spots when approaching side roads/roundabouts;
- Before changing lanes, check your mirrors and blind spots to ensure there are no cyclists trying to do the same.
Cyclists, be aware
- Always make eye contact with drivers and other road users – this will help you determine whether they have seen you.
- Always look well ahead and try your best to anticipate what manoeuvres the vehicles ahead of you are going to make.
- Take the lane when passing a side road on your left. This means that you ride in the middle of the road instead of next to the curb, which enhances your visibility, because drivers will generally be looking in the middle of the road for other vehicles.
- When attempting to turn into a side road, glance behind you when approaching a junction and, if possible, make eye contact with the driver behind you, and edge out into the lane carefully to enhance your visibility.
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