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Why inner city cycle accidents are so high

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Posted on 17th Aug, 2015 by Jonathan Peach

While many cyclist accidents occur in rural and residential areas, it’s actually on inner city roads that the majority of accidents are recorded. On the busy city roads in London, a cyclist has an accident with a vehicle approximately once every two hours – that’s 12 crashes every day.

Research, from insurance company Aviva, shows that HGVs and vans were the other vehicle involved in these cases in almost 75% of the incidents. But why are these accidents still continuing to happen and what more can we do about it? That’s exactly what we’ll be finding out in today’s blog…

Top four reasons behind inner city cycle accidents

1. Cyclists’ failure to follow safety precautions

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A study, which looked at accidents in London, found that half of the women and nearly one third of men involved in accidents were not wearing helmets. Furthermore, a third of the cyclists involved in accidents after dark didn’t have any bicycle lights.

Solution: Like drivers, cyclists too have a role to play to ensure safety. While educating drivers and introducing technology, safety needs to be raised amongst cyclists too.

2. Poor cycle safety awareness amongst drivers

It’s thought that better cycle safety awareness, amongst drivers of all vehicles, would reduce the number of accidents on Britain’s roads. Emma Fox, a director at Halfords, and Edmund King, the president of the AA, both see merit in cycle awareness being taught as part of the motor vehicle driving practice.

Solution: Cycle safety should be taught in driving lessons and potentially feature as part of the theory test. Gaining confidence in how to spot and manoeuvre around cyclists is a valuable skill to learn early on.

As part of Transport for London’s Cycle Safety Action Plan, Crossrail lorry training has also been introduced to help lorry drivers drive safely near cyclists.

3. Failure to use life-saving technology

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In a recent study by Brake, the road safety charity, and the Licence Bureau, a driver-checking service, it was found that only 20% of HGV operators fit rear-facing cameras to all lorries, while only 8% had installed side cameras as standard. Furthermore, only 12% of vehicles are fitted with sensors that alert drivers to cyclists close to their near side – like our TurnSensor  product.

Solution: Companies need to promote the use of cycle-safe technology, developed by companies like Vision Techniques, in their business. While the technology may be an initial investment, it promises peace of mind is fitted and looked after by the experts here at Vision Techniques.

4. Right and left turns

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One of the biggest risks on inner city roads is turning into another road. With many larger vehicles facing problems or blind spots, it can be hard to spot a cyclist’s approach.

Solution: Taking measures to improve blind spot visibility will reduce accidents that result from turns. TurnAware, our GPS controlled ‘speed logic’ system, determines the direction of the approach before warning the driver of a cyclist’s presence. Warnings are both audible and visual, as well as being clear to understand. Video analytics also improve the detection.

To find out about any of the products mentioned in today’s blog -or to discover the right suite of technology for your vehicle, give the Vision Techniques team a call today on 08452 873 173.

What Vision Techniques products have helped prevent you from being involved in an inner city cycle accident? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @VisionTechnique