Since last year’s Tour de France event in Yorkshire, cycling on Britain’s roads has taken off. With over 43% of the UK population now owning a bicycle, cycling is one of the cheapest, healthiest and most environmentally friendly modes of transport. To ensure safe riding, take a look at our comprehensive guide, and information on how to react if you are involved in a cycling accident.
According to statistics, the mileage cycled in the UK has risen by 20% over the last 15 years. This year, following the success of the Grande Departe, international cycling is returning to Yorkshire for the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire event, attracting thousands of spectators from across the region.
Amateur cyclists are being encouraged to take part in the event, which offers the unique opportunity for sportive riders to experience part of the course. The course will cover a variety of distances and will take place on the same day and the same roads as the final stage of the Tour (3rd May).
Safety on a bike
Generally, cycling is safe. There is international evidence to suggest that the “safety in numbers” theory has significantly helped to decrease cycling accidents. This is mainly thought to be down to the fact that there are now more cyclists on the roads, so drivers are now more aware of their safety and the potential risks of cycling accidents.
However, today’s perception is that cycling accidents are frequent and roads are too dangerous, which often dissuades commuters from using bikes. The best way to tackle this is through education. All road users rely on the safety of each other and it is essential that they can spot high-risk cycle accident situations:
How can drivers avoid causing cycling accidents?
- Slow down
- Always check blind spots
- Allow plenty of space
- Carefully overtake
What are common cycling accidents?
- Motorist turning across the path of cyclist
- Motorist emerging into the path of cyclist
- Cyclist riding into the path of a vehicle
- Cyclist riding too fast
With this is mind, we have created an infographic around some of the key facts and figures surrounding cycling accidents in the UK.
If you feel unsure about taking a bicycle onto the road, cycling training can not only offer you knowledge on how to cycle defensively and with caution, but valuable confidence in how to act in situations with busy traffic and multiple lanes.
Sam Jones, Campaigns Coordinator at CTC the national cycling charity said:
“As the national cycling charity, we heartily encourage people to rediscover the joy that comes through cycling. It’s a fun, healthy way of getting around that is open to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities – something which increasingly more and more people are coming to realise.
“Until the UK has proper Space for Cycling, something which CTC actively campaigns for, high quality cycle training is available, and we thoroughly recommend it for the beginner and experienced cyclist alike.”