Injuries resulting from incidents between cyclists and vehicles on Britain’s roads continue to rise. While there’s been a fall in fatalities (which could just be the result of the UK’s ever improving healthcare system and hospitals), there have been increases in serious injuries. In 2013, serious injuries were 31% higher than the average over 2005 – 2009, despite actions to try and raise the awareness of safety on today’s roads.
Why do these accidents continue to occur?
Speed is one major element contributing to today’s accidents. While rural roads carry only 30% of cycle traffic, they actually accounted for 58% of cyclist fatalities in 2013. Why? The Department for Transport believe it’s because these rural roads have a much higher average speed that urban roads.
There is also extra danger around heavy goods vehicles. In fact, between 2009 and 2013, HGV’s were involved in around a quarter of cyclist deaths despite comprising only 5% of the traffic. Blind spots are usually the culprit behind these accidents. Serious incidents like this most commonly occur when HGV’s turn left into a road and struggle to see a cyclist sitting in an unsighted area to the side or just in front and to the side.
What’s being done about it?
Every month here at Vision Techniques we hear about new protests and new campaigns. One of the most recent organised events was a funeral procession for cyclists killed on London’s roads, which was held on 15th November. The National Funeral of the Unknown Victim of Traffic Violence processed from Bedford Square to Oxford Street and then Marble Arch raising awareness of destruction and accidents on Britain’s roads.
Making suggestions about what could be done in the future, Carl Myhill, one of the organisers of the procession, told London24.com:
“One thing to make things better for all would be greater segregation of cyclists and pedestrians from trucks and cars, exactly like in the Netherlands and Denmark, much of Belgium, big parts of Germany, Seville, etc. The current cross rail for bikes proposal with the north south and east west routes is an excellent start. We need to support this and get it done.”
As part of this particular campaign, the group behind the procession, Stop Killing Cyclists, were demanding that the government invest £15 billion in a national cycle network and introduce a 20 mph speed limit on all urban roads.
Stop Killing Cyclists have a number of demands when it comes to making our roads safer, one of which is to stop the killing by HGVs. The group are campaigning to ban trucks with blind spots by making safety equipment mandatory and strictly enforcing truck-safety regulations.
Vision Techniques understands the risks HGVs can pose to cyclists on the road – which is why we’ve developed a suite of safety products for HGVs to minimise road accidents. We’re also continuing to develop bigger and better products and actively promoting them to ensure their use. You can browse our whole range on our website.
To find out about any products within our range, give us a call on 08452 873 481