Pedal Cyclists

Pedal Cyclists

Summary:

Trends in pedal cycle use and casualties over time

In GB in 2016:

  • Pedal cyclist casualties made up 10 per cent of all road user casualties.
  • Pedal cycle KSI casualties have risen steadily since 2004. In 2016, KSI casualties had risen by 45 per cent from the 2011-15 average (from 3.316 to 3,491). Between 2013-2014 pedal cycle traffic increased by 10 per cent, but between 2014-2015 pedal cycle traffic fell by 6%.
  • There were 102 cyclist fatalities. This is a reduction from an average of 109 in the period 2011-15. In 2014 there were 113 fatalities and in 2015 there 100. Note that fluctuations between years are expected when the numbers are low and should be interpreted with caution.

(RRCGB, DfT, 2017)

Cycling collisions

Who is being injured?

  • There is no evidence to indicate a systematic gender difference in risk of pedal cyclist casualty when exposure is accounted for. However, in 2005-7 cyclists aged 10 to 15 years were more at risk of injury (per km cycled based on the National Travel Survey) than any other age group.

Where do collisions happen?

  • In 2016, almost three quarters of all cyclists KSI in GB were injured on urban roads, while over half of cyclist fatalities occurred on rural roads. Almost half of cyclist KSI were at or near junctions. Two thirds of cyclist KSI's occurred in fine weather conditions, in daylight on dry roads.

What other vehicles are involved?

From STATS19 data, in 2014-16:

  • When a cycle user was killed or seriously injured in a collision where the only other vehicle involved was a large goods vehicle (over 3.5t mgw), they were much more often killed (18 per cent of cycle user KSI casualties resulting from such collisions were killed, compared with 2 per cent in all other collisions between a cycle and a single vehicle). Well over half of these cyclist fatalities involving a LGV occurred at an urban junction.
  • Nine per cent of cycle user KSI casualties resulted from collisions which did not involve another vehicle.
  • ‘Failed to look properly’ was the most commonly reported contributory factor in KSI collisions which involved a pedal cycle and one other vehicle. Between 2014 and 2016, 66% of these failures were attributed to other vehicles and 34% to cyclists.
  • The most commonly attributed contributory factor for collisions involving only a cycle were ‘loss of control’ (reported in 29 out of 50 of fatal single vehicle cyclist collisions).
  • Pedal cyclist casualties made up 10 per cent of all road user casualties.

  • Pedal cycle KSI casualties have risen steadily since 2004. In 2015, KSI casualties had risen by 4 per cent from the 2010-14 average (from 3.202 to 0,330). Between 2013-2014 pedal cycle traffic increased by 10 per cent, but between 2014-2015 pedal cycle traffic fell by 6%.

  • There were 107 cyclist fatalities. This is a reduction from an average of 111 in the period 2010-14. In 2013 there were 106 fatalities and in 2014 there 113. Note that fluctuations between years are expected when the numbers are low and should be interpreted with caution.

(RRCGB, DfT, 2016)

Cycling collisions

Who is being injured?

  • There is no evidence to indicate a systematic gender difference in risk of pedal cyclist casualty when exposure is accounted for. However, in 2005-7 cyclists aged 10 to 15 years were more at risk of injury (per km cycled based on the National Travel Survey) than any other age group.

Where do collisions happen?

  • In 2013-15, almost three quarters of all cyclists KSI in GB were injured on urban roads, while over half of cyclist fatalities occurred on rural roads. Almost half of cyclist KSI were at or near junctions. Around 65 per cent of cyclist KSI occurred in fine weather conditions, in daylight on dry roads.

What other vehicles are involved?

From STATS19 data, in 2013-15:

  • When a cyclist was involved in a collision with a large goods vehicle, they were more likely to be killed (17 per cent of fatal cycle accidents involved a HGV compared with 3 per cent of serious accidents). Almost half of these fatal accidents in GB occurred at an urban junction. Twelve per cent of cyclist KSI did not involve a collision with another vehicle. The majority of these occurred away from junctions and in rural locations.

  • ‘Failed to look properly’ was the most commonly reported contributory factor in KSI collisions which involved a pedal cycle and a motor vehicle. Between 2013 and 2015 66% of these failures were attributed to drivers and 34% to cyclists.

  • The most commonly attributed contributory factor for single cycle accidents was ‘loss of control’ (reported in 31 per cent of fatal cases)

(RRCGB, DfT, 2016)

Cyclist injuries

From STATS19 data, in 2005-7:

  • Casualty severity was found to increase with the posted speed limit. Cyclist injury severity was greater when contributory factors assigned to the driver involved speed, impairment by alcohol and blind spots for HGVs.

  • An analysis of hospital in-patient data found that the head was most likely to sustain injuries, especially for children (45 per cent), closely followed by the arms (41 per cent).

Research findings

Perception of risk and cycling style

  • Journey urgency, confidence and experience of cyclists are key factors in shaping participants’ view of risk to cyclists.

  • Reasons for cycling and cycling style vary according to cycling purpose so that individual cyclists may exhibit different styles at different times

Road sharing

  • The most important barriers to cycling relate to other road users’ behaviour, volume and speed.

  • There is evidence that the culture of road sharing on English roads marginalises cyclists on the road and which may have important implications for road safety.

  • Stereotypes of cyclists by other road users are characterised by poor attitudes, a disregard for road rules and the needs of other road users.·

  • Infrastructure has a role to play in improving the culture of road sharing alongside other interventions. The most significant infrastructure-related risk factors for cyclists in single vehicle incidents appear to be slippery road and poor road surface and for multi-vehicle collisions, speed limits and encounters with other road users.

Safety in numbers

  • Research has shown that when the level of cycling increases, cycling becomes safer. A report by CTC (a cycling charity) found that cycling is safer in local authorities in England where cycling levels are high. However, the reasons for this effect are not clear.

Health benefits of cycling vs. safety risks

  • A Dutch study looking at whether the health benefits of cycling outweigh the safety risk, found that the health benefits of increased physical activity with cycling resulted in significant gains in life-years than losses in life years due to increased inhaled air pollution and traffic accidents. These findings may well be relevant to the UK as the literature review on which the calculations were based included relevant literature from UK studies.

 

  • Date Added: 03 Apr 2012, 08:20 AM
  • Last Update: 12 Jan 2018, 10:45 AM