Fleet News

Cyclists unprepared and at risk as darker evenings set in

 With the clocks going back on Sunday (27th October) new research from Autoglass reveals that a worrying number of cyclists are putting themselves at risk by forgetting to use bike lights and wear high visibility clothing as the evenings get darker.  

The survey of 1000 cyclists found that almost half (48%) admit to being caught out without lights or high-vis clothing when the clocks go back. Commuter cyclists are most likely to be unwittingly caught out, with 63% admitting to forgetting to take the basic equipment needed to make themselves be seen on the road on their cycle home from work.

Over half (57%) of cyclists surveyed admitted they could take more action to make themselves visible to other road-users in the dark.  Less than half of all cyclists say they regularly use the equipment needed to keep them visible and seen on the road. Just 39% regularly wear high-vis clothing, 42% regularly use headlamps on their bike and a minority 27% regularly use brake lights.   

To tackle the issue, the cyclists surveyed think that mandatory measures are the answer. Almost a third (31%) feel that making high visibility jackets compulsory for cyclists on the road would be useful to ensure safety and one in five (21%) say that better lighting on the roads would also help.

The research found that young cyclists are amongst the most likely to be unprepared for the clocks going back. 60% of 18-24 year olds gamble with their safety by not getting kitted out with basic items needed to be easily seen on the road during the darker days. 50% of this age group confessed to having had an accident or near miss whilst riding a bike – a higher proportion than the older respondents surveyed.  14% of younger cyclists report being in an accident, more likely than any other age group and twice as likely as older cyclists (7% of over 55 year olds).   Young people are also far more likely than the average cyclist to risk distraction by riding when using an MP3 player or iPod, with 27% admitting this vs. 15% of all respondents.

According to the Department of Transport’s latest figures, 118 cyclists were killed on Britain’s roads in 2012, up from 107 in 2011 and accounting for 7% of all road deaths.  The number of cyclists seriously injured increased by 4 per cent to 3,222.

Matthew Mycock, managing director at Autoglass said: “Cyclists are the only group of road users at increased risk of injury and death on the roads over recent years and ‘stealth-cycling’ shouldn’t be an option.  It’s crucial that cyclists do all they can to protect themselves and standing out with high visibility clothing can help to save lives.  This is why, linked to our partnership with Brake, we are supporting the Brake ‘Bright Day’ campaign to remind cyclists to think about their winter cycling equipment this weekend and get ready for the darker evenings, and to remind drivers to watch out for pedestrians and cyclists.  Remembering to use simple items such as bike lights, high visibility jackets, brightly coloured clothes, glow-in-the-dark stickers and reflectors will ensure better safety in the months ahead”.


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  • James Nayler - 21/10/2013 13:11

    Does there need to be a lot of deaths before the government see this as a problem? Motorbikes have to have thier lights on all the time but cyclist do not have any such advisements. Personally i feel there should be more promotion of good cycling habit with the encouragement to ride rather than drive. I am sure a lot of people in the 30+ age bracket remember things like "The green cross code" and "Charlie says....". How about bringing back something like this aimed at everyone. Most of the nation watch TV but adverts for washing powder and gambling sites are more important than the general population.

  • Martin Harris - 21/10/2013 13:39

    Should we not be looking at enforcing the law and issuiing fines or confiscating bikes if riders are not using lights etc. Here in Bristol they have constructed a purpose built cycle path at god knows what cost, yet cyclist still insist on using the 40 mph road, putting themselves at risk and causing problems for road traffic

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