A survey carried out recently for National Accident Helpline has uncovered that a shocking 42% of cyclists don’t feel safe in the cycle lanes that are specifically designated for their safety. Furthermore, as the clocks change and days get shorter, 53% of cyclists say they feel “nervous” when cycling in the dark. 2,056 cyclists across the UK were surveyed for the research.
Speaking about the survey’s findings, National Accident Helpline Chief Executive Officer Russell Atkinson, himself a keen cyclist, said:
“More and more Britons are following Bradley Wiggins and getting inspired by the Tour de France to hop on a bike. Unfortunately this rise has been accompanied by a sense of nervousness when it comes to road cycling.
“As the nights draw in and winter approaches, this is the perfect time to tackle that anxiety by ensuring that you are prepared for cycling in the dark. As long as you take the necessary steps to ensure you are well prepared and keep your wits about you, there is no reason why the winter should be a hindrance.”
Cycling safety tips
Our survey found that many cyclists are nervous of external factors, including cycling in the dark, the safety of designated cycle lanes and difficulty with the road surface.
The next time you head out on your bicycle, be aware of the need to:
- Light up: UK law dictates all cyclists must have a forward-facing white light, a rear-facing red light and a rear-facing red reflector.
- Be seen: Make yourself as visible to other road users as possible by wearing reflective and bright clothing, and stick to well-lit routes where you can.
- Avoid hazards: Hazards can be hard to spot in the dark, or on unfamiliar roads, so slow down and give yourself time to see potholes and other hazards.
Our Cycling Safety Infographic
We’ve produced this snapshot of UK cycling in 2014 to help raise awareness of our survey findings and highlight potential hazards to cyclists and all road users.
22% of cyclists listen to music while cycling on the road
In urban areas this increased to 42% of people admitting they listen to music while cycling.
42% of cyclists in the UK don’t feel safe in cycle lanes
48% of those aged 18-24 don’t feel safe in cycle lanes.
59.2% of 55-64 year-olds are nervous cycling in the dark
Proportionally, this is higher than any other age category, with 25-34 year-olds second (55.8%) and 45-54 year-olds third (54%)
Cycling in the dark
3.53pm: The time of day the sun will set in London on December 21, the shortest day of the year.
Should a cycling test be mandatory?
56.4% of respondents believe that all cyclists should have to pass a mandatory proficiency test before they’re allowed on the UK’s roads.