Blog

Over 19,000 Cyclists Killed or Injured on our Roads Each Year

August 25, 2014

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has released its latest annual figures looking at Cycling Accidents. The latest figures taken from 2013 showed that a huge 19,438 cyclists were killed or injured on UK roads, including nearly 2000 children.

The figures have been broken down into three groups, with the largest group being those who were slightly injured, the middle group showing those seriously injured and, thankfully, the smallest group showing those who were killed. In 2013, 109 cyclists were killed on the roads, although the figures listed are only those that were reported to the police throughout the year. It is important to remember that many cyclist casualties are not reported to the police, even when the cyclist is taken to hospital and therefore the figures are probably even higher than those published.

Cycle Lane Turning

Casualties on the Rise

In 2013 the number of cyclist casualties has risen and much of this has been put down to the larger number of cyclists on the road in general. The majority of all cyclists injured are adults, with less than 20% being children and as children grow older, they are more likely to be involved in an accident.

The majority of cycling accidents occur in urban areas where the majority of cycling takes place, although nearly half of all cyclist fatalities took place on rural roads. The age old problem of junction accidents reared its ugly head again as nearly two third of all cyclists killed or seriously injured were involved in collisions at a road junction. Roundabouts too are particularly dangerous for cyclists.

Types of Accident

As above the most common type of cycling accidents occurred at junctions, with motorists emerging into the path of the cyclist or turning across the path of the cyclist. Other common accidents include cyclists riding into the path of a motor vehicle, often when coming down from the pavement and of course, many children’s accidents are due to them playing too close to roads or riding too fast. HGVs still pose a threat to cyclists, as we recently discussing in relation to the Safer Lorries Scheme in London.

Cycling Injuries

The types of injuries suffered by cyclists have also been recorded, with limb injuries amongst the most common. 40% of all those in accidents suffered an arm injury with 25% suffering leg injuries. Chest and abdomen injuries also occurred but at a less frequent level, just 5%. The problem with this type of injury is that it’s often very serious and regularly occur alongside head injuries. Head injuries themselves are also very common, ranging from the most serious fatal skull fractures to superficial cuts and scratches. Hospital data suggests that over 40% of cyclists suffer a head injury of some time and it’s the case for almost all fatal injuries.

Lamb & Co. work regularly with clients who have been injured in a range of road traffic accidents, including cyclists. These new statistics don’t paint a very positive picture for cyclists on our roads but with schemes such as the Safer Lorries Consultation in London, there is hope for safer roads for all.

 

Photo credit: Bristol Cycling Campaign via photopin cc