Bike Week 2014: Cycling Safety – The Facts
Bike Week 2014, the annual opportunity to promote cycling
comes to a close this Sunday. It was set up to encourage everyday cycling for everyone.
Everyday cycling come with everyday dangers, some of these were brought to light back in November 2013, when London witnessed the death of 6 cyclists in that month
. Statistics from the Department for Transport (DfT)
and other sources suggest that the large amount of deaths in one month, in one city, may not be 'just a blip'.
More Than a Blip?
There is a possibility that cycling injuries are on the rise. The total amount of cyclists on British roads increased by 23%
in 2012, whilst those killed or seriously injured on a bicycle
increased by 32% in the same year.
It's hard to get perspective from these kinds of statistics, but it is a worrying increase in the amount of those killed or seriously injured. Serious injuries are defined as an injury resulting in prolonged hospitalisation
and/or significant disability.
In essence, these are life-changing injuries, and far from a bruised knee or even a broken leg
. Experts use the figure of those "killed or seriously injured" to assess safety.
A Fair Trial for Lorries
You may remember the 6 cycling fatalities in London that all happened seemingly one after another in November 2013. These raised concerns over the use of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV's)
in the city during rush hour.
Undoubtedly, being hit by a lorry is probably going to do more harm than being hit by a car, but you're at the most risk of being hit by cars or taxis
. The 2012 figures from the DfT show 2,434 collisions between a cyclist and a car
, and just 114 between a cyclist and a HGV.
It is important to note that there are insufficient figures for incidents after November 2013
due to the fact that the full year's figures are yet to be published.