Vision Techniques

Record low for road accidents but cyclist deaths up 10%

Deaths from road accidents hit record low last year, but cyclist deaths have increased yet again.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show an 8% fall on 2011 in deaths from reported accidents – 1,754 deaths – the lowest figure since records began in 1926.

While car, pedestrian and motorcyclist deaths have fallen, but cyclist accidents have risen considerably.

118 cyclists died, a 10% rise, with injuries rising 4% to 3,222.

Though the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) were happy with the fall in deaths, they were concerned with cyclist deaths.

Kevin Clinton, Head of Road Safety at RoSPA, said: “The good news of a large drop in road deaths in 2012 is marred by an increase in cyclist deaths, which occurred despite the poor weather in the main cycling seasons of spring and summer, which probably meant fewer cyclists were on the road.

“If the weather had been better, there may have been even more cyclists killed and injured. Even though road deaths in 2012 were at their lowest level since records began, we need to redouble our efforts to make sure that cyclist deaths and injuries are reduced as the popularity of cycling increases.”

Similarly, road safety charity Brake welcomed the news, but were concerned about cyclist deaths.

They said that this means more of the most vulnerable road users are bearing the brunt of road danger and urged greater government action to protect people on foot and bike.

Julie Townsend, Deputy Chief Executive of Brake, said: “While progress towards fewer deaths and injuries is hugely welcome, it is important to acknowledge every person behind these statistics.

“So we must aim for zero; because no death or serious injury is acceptable.”

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at the Institute for Advanced Motorists (IAM), said: “IAM welcomes a return to the long-term improvements in road safety that the UK has been rightly recognised for.

“The IAM has always warned that failing to match investment in segregated facilities with the growing numbers of cyclists would lead to an increase in death and serious injury and this worrying trend continues.

“A ten per cent increase in cycling deaths in a year when the weather suppressed cycling trips is a real red danger signal that simply cannot be ignored.”

If you’re worried about being part of the problem, why not invest in one of our cycle safety products (VT Side Alert™ / VT Overview™) to make cyclists aware of your presence, and to help you spot them more easily.