Cyclists are suffering 25 near-misses on average a year as a result of not knowing who has right of way at a junction, new research has revealed.
A study, conducted by Dr Rachel Aldred of the University of Westminster, also found that of the 25 near misses at a junction registered a year cyclists reported that at least six of them would be described as “very scary”.
More shockingly, a UK commuter may expect 20 deliberate incidents annually, where a motorist has gone out of their way to impede a cyclist’s path.
The findings form part of a project that looks to calculate a per-mile miss rate for those cycling in the UK – the first of its kind. It found that in general, cyclists could expect to endure one or two near misses per day.
The report said: “Near misses are an everyday experience for cyclists in the UK. Near miss rates are similar for people living inside and outside London”.
The issue has prompted more than 27,000 people to sign a British Cycling petition to create a universal rule for road users, that would mean all roads users have to give way when turning.
— British Cycling (@BritishCycling) March 16, 2017
Road safety charity Brake is keen to lower cyclist incident rates – and it called the findings “worrying” and a “sign of the dangers vulnerable road users, not just cyclists, are facing on our congested and overcrowded roads.”
A spokesperson for the charity said: “Although Brake actively encourages cycling, we understand this clearly has to be done in a safe environment where lives are not put in danger.
“Travelling on a bike needs to be supported by the correct infrastructure, such as traffic-free zones, segregated paths, and slower speed limits. We urge the government to invest in safer infrastructure for road users, limit the number of private vehicles allowed in city centres and encourage drivers to pay close attention to cyclists and other vulnerable road users.”
Simon Irons, Halfords Group Cycling Director, also commented on the matter saying: “There is no doubt that this simple, but effective rule would help to alleviate confusion on the roads and benefit all road users.
“This would in turn not only help to make our roads safer and simpler, but ultimately enable us to have more enjoyable journeys. As we continue to lead busy lives, our aim is to find common ground, bring people together and encourage all road users to share responsibility for safety on the roads.”