DfT annual road safety statistics make for interesting reading!

Latest figures out reveal that whilst cyclist deaths on our roads are on the decline, the number of seriously injured is definitely on the increase.  This increase in injuries could be down to any number of factors such as better techniques in A&E and trauma units keeping people alive, increase wearing of head protection, more cyclists on the road etc.  Either way the figures reveal some interesting facts and has kept cycle safety high up on people’s radar. 

3,401 cyclists were seriously injured last year on Britain’s roads.  This was an increase of 8.2 per cent on 2013 and the numbers of seriously injured have increased in nine out of the last 10 years.

Department for Transport annual road safety statistics summary: 

2014 – 113 deaths 

2013 – 109 deaths

2004 – 134 deaths

1934 – 1,536 killed 

The long-term trend is that cycling deaths are falling and are likely to fall this year with the half year statistics, provided by Beyond the Kerb blog, which unofficially monitors casualties, showing 53 fatalities so far for 2015.   

There is also the usual disparities between men and women cyclists with women coming off far worse with regards to heavy lorries in London.  When trying to find a reason for this there are experts that suggest women are more cautious at junctions and often find themselves in a lorry’s blind spot as the vehicle turns left. Another theory is that the capitals construction boom has meant an increase in the number of HGVs on the roads, many of which have poor safety features.

Although more women are killed by HGVs than men they are still less likely to be killed on the roads than men which is simply down to the fact that more men cycle than women for longer.

The figures have provoked a reaction and in particular the data around increases in serious injuries for cyclists.

Ed Morrow, at Brake, the road safety charity, says: “There are more incidents happening where people’s lives are being put at risk. This isn’t just a statistical blip. This is a serious a long-term trend.”

He continues: “The fact it’s going up faster than cycle traffic means we can’t just blame more cyclists on the road. It’s a very complex issue, but there are various factors.

“Our urban road environment is still designed with the car as king. There is money starting to go into cycle infrastructure, but it has been so piecemeal so far.”

Senior transport lecturer at the University of Westminster, Dr Rachel Aldred says: “Yes, deaths often rightly hit the headlines. But serious injuries can involve lives being cut short and serious disabilities.

“It is concerning. Safety in numbers is not naturally following on.”


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