Are Britain's Roads Safe for Cyclists?

We conducted a cycle safety survey, which revealed that:

  • Almost 1 in 3 people think that Britain’s roads are not safe for cyclists.
  • 62% felt that drivers' attitudes was the biggest danger to cyclists on the roads.
  • Almost 1 in 5 people felt the conditions of Britain’s roads put cyclists at risk.
  • 28% felt that there were no safe roads in Britain for cyclists.
  • 1 in 5 drivers don’t think it is necessary to give cyclists at least a car door width gap when overtaking.
  • 50% of cyclists don’t wear the right safety gear when out on a bike.
  • Only 1 in 3 always wear a helmet and protection.

When navigating busy city traffic, cycling can be the quickest way to get around during rush hour. It is also a great way to burn off some steam and get fit in the great outdoors.

But are Britain’s roads safe for cyclists? And do people take enough precautions?

First4Lawyers surveyed 1,500 people to gauge a view on how safe Britain’s roads are for cyclists and if more needs to be done to protect them.

Our research suggests that almost one in three people feel that none of Britain’s roads are safe enough for cyclists, and the biggest concern is ‘driver attitude’ toward cyclists, with 62% of those surveyed citing it as their main safety issue.

One respondent alleged that there are drivers who try to hurt cyclists on purpose and boast about it on social media.

Potholes and poor conditions

17% of those surveyed said poor conditions of Britain’s roads are the biggest risk, with potholes becoming a real danger for safe cycling.

A further 10% said they believe pedestrians pose the biggest risk to cyclists on the road.

Other areas of concern cited are the sheer volume of traffic together with a lack of dedicated cycling lanes.

Driver danger

The research uncovered some shocking statistics on driver attitudes toward cyclists.

1 in 5 of drivers felt that despite it being the law they didn’t need to leave at least a car door's width when overtaking a cyclist.

17% say they only overtake cyclists safely if they're not in a rush!

Safety matters

Of those surveyed, 47% reckon they never wear any form of protective gear when cycling and 13% only sometimes wear the appropriate safety gear.

Only a third of respondents say they always wear a helmet and protective gear.

What we think

First4Lawyers spokesperson, Andy Cullwick said:  “Worryingly, despite investing millions in large scale cycling schemes, cyclists are reporting that they feel unsafe on Britain’s roads. This was supported by a 25% increase in the number of cyclists killed on Britain’s roads last year, making 2016 the worst year for cycling fatalities in almost a decade.

More needs to be done to ensure cyclists and drivers can share our roads in harmony and make them safer places for everyone. This includes reinvesting in our roads to rid them of the potholes that are causing dozens of cyclists to be killed or seriously injured each year.

However the most important message from the research suggests that both drivers and cyclists need to think more about the consequences of their actions. Wearing a helmet may not prevent an accident but it could well save the life of someone involved in an accident. Equally drivers need to respect the safe space cyclists need on the roads.”


Infographic cycling and protective gear

Infographic main issues for road cyclists

Did you know we are running a design a cycle safety helmet competition for primary schools at the moment, find all the details on the link below:


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