Fleet News

Drivesafe calls for fleets to tackle 10% rise in cyclist accidents

DriveSafe is calling on all road users to be mindful of cyclists, following a 10% rise in the number of cyclists killed or injured on the roads in the past year.

The Birmingham-based road safety charity said that it is “appalled” at the latest Department for Transport figures showing that 3,530 cyclists died or suffered serious injuries in the 12 months to June.

In the same period 9,000 drivers and car passengers were killed or seriously injured – an increase of 4%. So too were 5,510 motorcyclists – up 7% – while the figure for pedestrians remained little changed at 5,570. Overall a total of 1,760 people were killed.

DriveSafe founder Fay Goodman said: “The latest road accident figures are appalling and can’t simply be explained away by increased usage of the roads in warmer spring weather this year, as the Department for Transport has suggested.

“We need not only slower traffic speeds, safer routes and better policing, but also greater courtesy, consideration and understanding between different road users.”

She added: “Lives are being shattered by motorists who text at the wheel, cyclists who ride side by side on busy roads and pedestrians who don’t always look when they cross the road.

“That is why we are urging companies to send their employees on driver safety courses and campaigning for road safety to be made part of the national curriculum.

“We want children to be able to go to school safely by foot or bike so that we can also tackle the problem of obesity, ease the strain on the NHS, and reduce congestion around schools.”

DriveSafe is urging drivers to make a greater effort to look out for cyclists as the winter evenings draw in and the temperatures drop creating visibility issues.

The charity has 10 top tips to help motorists avoid close calls with cyclists in winter:

  • With the sun lower in the sky, ensure you have a full and clear field of vision
  • Have a pair of sunglasses at hand if the sun is likely to dazzle you
  • Allow extra time before leaving home to clear all ice or snow from your car
  • Check all your lights are working so a cyclist can see you in gloomy weather
  • Check your tyres have enough tread – at least 3mm is recommended for winter
  • Take note of any blackspots on your journey and take extra care at them
  • Match your speed to the conditions
  • Take extra care in manoeuvring if roads are slippery
  • Take more time in looking out for cyclists at junctions in low light conditions
  • Be aware of cyclists coming up the side of your car behind you as you turn right

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has published a document setting out the work that logistics companies are doing to improve safety on the roads for vulnerable road users. For more on this story, click here.

Fleet News Safety Month, sponsored by Volvo, takes a look at the human and technology measures helping to improve road safety.

View our Safety Month features

 


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Comments

  • david Airey - 11/11/2014 12:16

    A good start would be for cyclist to use sensable proper lights and not to jump traffic light etc

  • Sue Buckland - 11/11/2014 12:29

    That's all very well - the cyclists should consider whether riding on the pavement, wearing headphones, weaving in and out of traffic, totally ignoring traffic lights or riding straight across in front of drivers without even looking (which is what happened to me this morning) is a safe method of travel. The list goes on. Don't always blame the motorist.

  • jim - 11/11/2014 12:59

    I've given up cycling to work now because of the bad attitude from motorists towards cycists, it's frightening!

  • Bettybloom - 11/11/2014 13:11

    I agree with Sue Buckland's comments and would add the difficulties in seeing cyclists when they wear all black clothing - especially difficult to see in shaded areas or in bad weather. Some cyclists also position themselves badly on the road - ie., in between two cars at large roundabouts - and then expect to move off without issue when the driver is looking to his right - I've seen a couple of accidents in this situation. I think reflective clothing/bands should be compulsory as should some form of insurance - if a cyclist hits the side of your car then there's little option but to claim on your own insurance. Having said all that, I think there are bad car and cycle drivers plus good ones.

  • Sam - 11/11/2014 13:23

    At the risk of being shot down...how about if cyclist were also more aware of vehicles? Some seem to ride without a care in the world and some can be very rude. Vehicle drivers are always blamed for accidents when I have seen alot of shocking cyclist behaviour!!

  • Rob - 11/11/2014 14:10

    It seems that whenever there is article like this, all the cyclist haters come out in force and post about how bad cyclists are, but completely miss the point. The behaviour of most ROAD USERS towards each other is appalling. I cycle and I drive, but mainly drive as it is part of my job, so I see this appalling behaviour every single working day. I have to say it is the drivers who seem to have the worst attitude towards any other road user. Yes there are idiots on push bikes, but certainly alot more idiots behind the wheel. I agree fully with the comments about high visibility clothing and lights being compulsory for cyclists. However lights are compulsory on cars and have been for many years, so why don't some drivers use them when required to? It has been foggy and dull recently and I've seen quite a lot of cars, including black ones, without headlights on. I have also witnessed cars jump red lights and almost take out a cyclist, cars jump pedestrian crossings outside schools and the poor Lollypop man outside my kids school received regular abuse and his life being put at risk by ignorant car drivers. The comment about cyclist wearing headphones. I personally wouldn't do it, but how is that any different to a driver having the radio on full blast or talking on the phone including handsfree. Don't even get me started on using mobile phones and texting at the wheel. I see it every day. You can't blame cyclist for that! All road users should be considerate to other road users and the sooner people realise that then the sooner we can all get along and start watching out for each other. I doubt I will see this in my lifetime, but I live in hope.

  • Dave - 11/11/2014 14:35

    Its all about patience on both cyclist and driver fronts. I cycle and drive. As a cyclist I wait in the queue of traffic at lights, roundabouts etc and yes I see other cyclist whiz past on both sides and between rows of cars, it can get frustrating waiting but as a car driver I also feel the frustration of a cyclist going past (normally illegally) then holding me up once I catch up again. I try to refrain from remonstrating with the cyclist but it can be hard work not to give a toot or have a shout as you eventually get past. On the other hand as a cyclist I don't do the queue hopping but still suffer the wrath of drivers if I don't get out of their way the instant I have a 10m gap in front of me, they have no where to go and will be stationary again within seconds but must crowd me, blow there horn for me to get out of the way or even try to force their way past - I have had them all. Can't win either way as a patient driver or cyclist, there will always be impatient drivers or cyclist and these should be taken to task, whether driver or cyclist, as they are the ones causing the problems and collisions and always the ones making most noise and moaning

  • James Nayler - 12/11/2014 09:24

    I agree that fleet and vehicle drivers in general need to be part of reducing injuries and deaths but cyclists need to be included in the problem. Until the lack of discipline of cyclists (running red lights, jumping on and off the pavement in front of traffic, no lights on dark coloured bikes while rider wears dark clothes) it is hard to see any sign of a resolution. Also the police need to be involved as I have spoken to Officers in my area and cyclist using the road is never policed.

  • Pete Evans. - 14/11/2014 17:16

    Am a independent Fleet Trainer and understand both sides of the discussion, there is some good work being done in local schools(change takes time) and also with more experienced cyclists via such associations as Bikeability . We all have views and stories to tell ,we are all road users but on a safety issue we need to understand others problems and make allowances at times for vulnerable road users.

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