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.