Thursday 28 November 2013

Cyclists beware because what you wear does not reduce the danger. However its much better for your health to cycle than fear to

A new study from the University of Bath and Brunel University suggests that no matter what clothing a cyclist wears, around 1-2% of drivers will pass dangerously close when overtaking.

This suggests there is little a rider can do, by altering their outfit or donning a high-visibility jacket, to prevent the most dangerous overtakes from happening. Instead, the researchers suggest, if we want to make cyclists safer, it is our roads, or driver behaviour, that need to change. 

 The solution to stopping cyclists being hurt by overtaking vehicles has to lie outside the cyclist. Cycling is not made safer by telling cyclists what they should wear. Perhaps by building high-quality separate cycle paths, by encouraging gentler roads with less stop-start traffic, or by making drivers more aware of how it feels to cycle on our roads and the consequences of impatient overtaking may make the difference for safety for the cyclist

Although there are cyclists hurt on our roads, it is important to remember that cycling carries major health benefits from providing regular exercise. This means that, on balance, it is much better for people’s health that they cycle than that they not cycle for fear of injury.

The research team are all regular cyclists. Dr Ian Walker and Dr Ian Garrard cycled together from Land’s End to John o’ Groats this summer.

read more in  Accident Analysis and Prevention:

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