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#908349 - 4th Nov 2014 9:52am How safe is cycling
Mark Online   Reading


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Registered: 9th Nov 2003
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Loc: Wirral


Cycling in Britain is often perceived as dangerous, but how much have the risks of riding a bike changed, and how do they compare with driving a car, asks statistician Jamie Jenkins.

There has been a huge fall in the number of deaths among cyclists in the past 80 years.

The figure reached its peak in 1934, when 1,536 pedal cyclists died in Great Britain. Last year there were 109 fatalities, according to the Department for Transport (DFT), and it's important to remember that there were considerably fewer people living in the country 80 years ago.

But before we think that 1934 was a bad year for cycling, remember that despite the lower population there are likely to have been far more cyclists. Owning a motor vehicle was much rarer and thus cycling as a primary means of transport would have been more common.

We do not know exactly how many cyclists there were in 1934, and indeed the figures today are pretty sketchy, but the number of cars on the road is considered to be a pretty good indicator. In 1934 there were fewer than two million cars on Britain's roads, while today there are about 28 million licensed cars.

So how safe is it to cycle on Britain's roads in 2014?



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#908350 - 4th Nov 2014 9:52am Re: How safe is cycling [Re: Mark]
Mark Online   Reading


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#915509 - 14th Dec 2014 9:17pm Re: How safe is cycling [Re: Mark]
j_demo Online   Know_it_all
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Registered: 4th Nov 2011
Posts: 1838
Loc: Wallasey/New Brighton
nice stats, and it's a good discussion starter

can't comment for back in the 30's, but today i actually think cycling is very safe. sure there's accidents here and there but with the sheer volume of traffic (motor vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians) there's always going to be issues. I am due to start a new job in christmas week and instead of driving to chester and back each day i'll be cycling to work and back each day, i've not done rush-hour cycling yet in my lifetime so it will be an experience, however i feel i'm competent enough to handle it.

i'm not sure if anyone here watched Jonathon Ross last night but Boris Johnson was on it and one thing he said was his justification for not making it law/compulsary for cyclists to wear a helmet, I, for one, agree with him. I have worn helmets in the past and just find them uncomfortable and distracting, even expensive ones that have been measured etc. the last thing you want is distraction when you're cycling in a busy area.

i'd be interested to hear what others have to say but i think that cycling is very safe providing the rider is competent and aware of their surroundings, obviously there'll be some drivers that don't care and will drive too close and be a danger, but the majority are reasonable.

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#915596 - 15th Dec 2014 9:34am Re: How safe is cycling [Re: Mark]
casper Online   content
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Registered: 13th May 2012
Posts: 1228
Loc: wallasey
You need a helmet mate please please wear one,I would like to agree with you on motorists but the daily bouts of poor driving and aggression I witness just wont allow it,I drive most days on the school runs and its a nightmare agression bad manners poor standard of driving, and one of the main ones lack of concentration mainly with mobile phones,please think ahead as if everyone is going to cause an accident, be safe good luck smile

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#915604 - 15th Dec 2014 10:50am Re: How safe is cycling [Re: Mark]
Gibbo Online   content
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Registered: 27th Dec 2010
Posts: 1717
Loc: Oxton
Brain surgeon: There's no point wearing bicycle helmets

A British brain surgeon says cycle helmets are too flimsy and can actually create more danger by creating the illusion of greater safety.

http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/brain-surgeon-theres-no-point-wearing-cycle-helmets/

I think the best accessories are a bike camera and a hi-vis jacket with the camera sign on the back.

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#915615 - 15th Dec 2014 11:52am Re: How safe is cycling [Re: Gibbo]
casper Online   content
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Registered: 13th May 2012
Posts: 1228
Loc: wallasey
Interesting Gibbo, dont know what make of it obviously this guys an expert on the matter, cant deny that, so perhaps the helmets need to be better made to offer more protection, something like jockys have or the kids skateboarding, still as the article says the camp is split on the use of, but would have thought some protection is better than nothing,

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#915623 - 15th Dec 2014 12:53pm Re: How safe is cycling [Re: Mark]
fish5133 Online   content
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Registered: 22nd Mar 2010
Posts: 2697
Loc: Heswallish
Still see a few idiots in dark clothing with tiny little light on back peddling along country lanes on dark wet nights. You get a car coming at you with headlights on and you can easily miss mr cyclist. One guy by us has a headlamp on the front of his bike which is like a flashing strobe--certainly cant miss him from the front but its awfully painful on your eyes.

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#1026970 - 11th Dec 2016 12:24pm Re: How safe is cycling [Re: Mark]
adrianb Offline


Registered: 20th May 2016
Posts: 2
Loc: Irby
The reduction in cyclist deaths is almost exclusively down to the reduction in the number of cyclists, whether through fear or choice, fewer people cycle.

Helmets should never be compulsory, I wear one when commuting across the Wirral and through Liverpool, but not usually when leisure cycling. Motor manufacturers like to support initiatives to supply cyclists with helmets, they like it because 1 it makes them appear to be cycle friendly while not actually making their cars safer, 2, Helmets make cycling appear dangerous and so fewer people will do it, meaning more car sales. If you arrived at a village you had never been to before and all the pedestrians in the village were wearing helmets, you'd think "Crikey, it must be dangerous to walk in this village, I'll go somewhere else"

As for cycling on the Wirral itself, there are some idiot drivers, but it is generally safe, but the infrastructure is non-existent meaning you have to be an already confident cyclist to feel able to command your road space. It's not exactly the Netherlands where you can let a 7 year old ride to school by themselves because you know they would never have to interact with cars.

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#1026975 - 11th Dec 2016 3:39pm Re: How safe is cycling [Re: Mark]
BandyCoot Offline

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Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5346
Loc: Birkenhead
Probably the reason there are less road deaths to cyclists nowadays is because they're riding on the pavements putting the wind up pedestrians. Some days are worse than others. Should be compulsory bells like they do in Germany and they have to let you know they are approaching you instead of sneaking up on you from behind and putting the wind up you. A pox on them.
oldman
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#1026979 - 11th Dec 2016 6:56pm Re: How safe is cycling [Re: Mark]
venice Offline

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Registered: 21st Jul 2011
Posts: 2471
Loc: Wirral
I think some sort of secure to head protection is better than none too. Couple of Summers ago I was cycling the Wirral Way , and a bare headed chap about 60 in a group of 4, failed to turn off at a junction his mates took, he turned sharply and promptly fell off landing on the back of his head. - I saw and heard his head smack onto the hard ground - that awful thud was a real sickener.

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#1026995 - 12th Dec 2016 2:12am Re: How safe is cycling [Re: Mark]
diggingdeeper Offline

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Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9648
Loc: Birkenhead
Bicycle side-flags/safety-reflectors seemed to force vehicles to give them a wider berth but they seem to have gone out of fashion again in the UK.

Its strange psychology that many drivers are prepared to skim a person or a metal bicycle but a weedy bit of plastic had a deterrent effect.
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#1027018 - 12th Dec 2016 7:42pm Re: How safe is cycling [Re: Mark]
philmch Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 27th Dec 2007
Posts: 324
Loc: Wirral
I've been serious about cycling since the mid 1980s. I have three bikes and do about 1200 miles per year. I don't drive either.

I'd say that cycling in the Wirral area is generally safe. The vast majority of cyclists and motorists are fine. It's a small number of idiots on both sides who make the roads unsafe.

We now have The National Cycle Network. Locally, this means we can cycle from Burton Point to Chester almost all off-road. It's great apart from in mid-winter when cycleways are prone to ice as they aren't gritted.

Clothing wise, I'd say, wear high vis gear, get LED lights,and yes wear a helmet. Helmets may not be of any use in collisions with vehicles but not all cycling accidents occur that way. Helmets CAN save lives and DO prevent head injuries every day. Get one, wear it, and don't ride on the bleeding pavement.

Stay safe and enjoy your riding.

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#1027030 - 12th Dec 2016 10:14pm Re: How safe is cycling [Re: Mark]
fish5133 Online   content
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Registered: 22nd Mar 2010
Posts: 2697
Loc: Heswallish
"don't ride on the bleeding pavement." Certainly not around town
Depends where the pavement is. Some cycle ways on pavements.

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#1027032 - 12th Dec 2016 10:27pm Re: How safe is cycling [Re: Mark]
granny Offline

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Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 13643
Loc: Wirral
Not sure about this area, but in Suffolk they had Cycling Proficiency Tests for top year Primary School children, in the 1980's /early 90's . Are they still being rolled out nationwide ? It was a good idea in the port of Felixstowe. Everyone used bikes for work etc, and probably still do.
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#1027373 - 21st Dec 2016 10:24am Re: How safe is cycling [Re: adrianb]
Gibbo Online   content
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Registered: 27th Dec 2010
Posts: 1717
Loc: Oxton
Originally Posted By: adrianb
The reduction in cyclist deaths is almost exclusively down to the reduction in the number of cyclists, whether through fear or choice, fewer people cycle.


Not true:

Quote:
More than two million people across the country now cycle at least once a week, an all-time high according to British Cycling, the sport's governing body in the UK.

For businesses in the cycling industry this means booming sales. At Halfords, which is responsible for one in three bikes sold in the UK, sales of its bicycles were up 11% in the year to 27 March 2015.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35101252

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