How’s My Driving? - Safe Driving Blog Tips
Statistics from the Department for Transport highlight the danger of riding a bike on the nation’s roads: the number of cyclists seriously injured on Britain’s roads has increased for eight consecutive years and cyclist fatalities increased by 10% in 2012. Cyclists are the only category of vulnerable road user where fatalities have risen. Every year in this country around 19,000 cyclists are killed or injured in reported road accidents (ROSPA 2012).
Almost two thirds of cyclists killed or seriously injured were involved in collisions at, or near, a road junction, with T junctions being the most commonly involved. Roundabouts are particularly dangerous junctions for cyclists. Not surprisingly, the severity of injuries suffered by cyclists increases with the speed limit, meaning that riders are more likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries on higher speed roads. Almost half of cyclist deaths occur on rural roads.
The most dangerous hours for cyclists are 3.00 to 6.00 p.m. and 8.00 to 9.00 a.m. on weekdays. However, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) present a particular danger for cyclists, especially in London where around 20% of cyclist fatalities occur involve an HGV. These often occur when an HGV is turning left at a junction'. About one quarter of accidents resulting in serious injury to a cyclist involved an HGV, bus or coach. The cost of this to commerce is counted in billions of pounds per year in addition to the emotional and physical impact it has on the individuals concerned regardless of who is to blame.
Cycle Badge SchemeThis is a critical road safety issue, and everyone has a role to play and that’s why How’s My Driving? is launching a road safety initiative aimed at Large Goods Vehicles (LGV) fleet customers and cyclists to help reduce the number of incidents involving both groups, thereby reducing the number of cyclist casualties.
In March 2011 How’s My Driving? launched the InTANDEM Road Safety Competition supported by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) which invited all road users to enter the hunt for new hazard symbol to cut HGV/cycle collisions. The winning design by Huw Gwilliam encourages all road users to ‘stay back’ from large vehicles avoiding the lorry danger zone. The winning badge is now available for purchase through How’s My Driving with profits this year being donated to Transaid.
We’d like to encourage all of our clients to take the small step of equipping their LGVs with this widely commended decal to affix to the rear left-hand side of lorries warning cyclists about the inherent danger of pulling along the inside of a truck, especially if it is turning left at a junction. We hope that this badge will alert cyclists about the dangers of riding along the inside of a lorry; the message to cyclists is simply, “stay back”.
By helping this initiative we hope our fleet customers can play a part in reducing the risks of collision in London, across the UK and Europe as a whole and help reverse the shocking increase in the number of cyclists killed or suffering life-changing injuries. The initiative is supported by Transport for London (TfL) and is intended to complement other Government-led cycling safety campaigns.
Gordon Telling, Director of Policy at Sustainable Freight Solutions, said of the initiative, "Too often, cyclists inadvertently find themselves in danger because of their lack of understanding about how large vehicles move when they are turning. This badge along with a combination of other measures will both help cyclists to understand the danger zones around large vehicles and help drivers to see those cyclists and avoid them."
12 March 2012