Cycling and Road Safety

by billnixon on January 24, 2013

Cyclists and drivers have a right to transit the roads, but every year thousands of cyclists are either killed or injured in road accidents. Of those injured or killed, one fifth are children. Most of these accidents happen in urban areas where cyclist and motorists are seen more frequently, and most of these accidents occurred at or near a road junction. Additionally, the severity of injuries increases with higher speed limits.

Who is at Risk?

According to statistics made by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, statistics show that children between the ages of 10 to 15 have a higher risk of being in a bicycle-car accident than any other age group including adults under the age of 60. Of course, this statistic is also reflective of children growing older and switching to motorised vehicles. (1) When collisions occur with adult cyclists males are more likely to be injured than females. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents suggests that four out of every five cyclist casualties are male.

When do These Occur?

Most cycling accidents occur in the daytime, when most cycling takes place, however, those that do occur at night are more likely to be fatal.

To help minimize injuries and deaths from cyclist-motorist accidents, both cyclists and motorists should follow certain procedures. The following are a few tips cyclists and motorists should consider promoting a friendlier environment for both:


1 – Dress to be visible. Wear bright clothing and equip your bike with lights so you are more visible to drivers when you cycle in poor weather conditions or in the dark.

2 – Always demonstrate to drivers what you plan on doing. Use proper hand signals before you start, stop or turn.

3 – Ride a straight line in parking lots so drivers can see you. Avoid swerving in and out of parked cars.

4 – Don’t ride in the opposite direction of a one-way street, unless there is a specific traffic rule allowing you to do so on that particular street.

5 – Don’t run red lights.

6 – Avoid riding over pedestrian crossings when motor traffic is not allowed to.

Cyclists need to know that motorists cannot see them if they don’t use lights on their bikes at night, and this could increase the risk of an accident.


1- Expect a cyclist to make brisk moves. Windy weather and bad roads can cause them to swerve for no apparent reason.

2 – Watch for cyclists when you turn left.

3 – Avoid opening the door without first looking for cyclists

4 – Give cyclists enough space to manoeuvre

5 – Watch for cyclist who might come away from the kerb; they may need to avoid holes or drains.

Drivers should also be aware that cyclists have poor visibility in bad weather conditions. Wind and rain impair their visibility more than it does for drivers.

Important Government Changes

The UK is investing in better cycling conditions for cyclists. Additionally, the government is making an effort to create more cycling awareness, focusing on mutual respect between motorists and cyclists. Regulations are also being made in the driving test to make new motorists more aware of cyclists manoeuvring needs.

Erica Feder is an avid bicyclist with a legal background as an injury attorney. She enjoys writing and sharing her insights on various cycling and legal blogs. Visit Cyclaim for more information on accident claims.



Bill Nixon is an avid law blogger who likes to share his knowledge on various Internet blogs.

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