Forum home Road cycling forum Campaign

Are you finding cycling dangerous?

megillelandmegilleland Posts: 786
edited December 2009 in Campaign
Two interesting articles on the dangers of cycling in The Guardian today:

Cyclists killed in Britain up by 11% in three years.
The number of cyclists killed and seriously injured on Britain's roads rose by 11% between 2004 and 2007 despite no significant increase in cycling, a report by the National Audit Office has disclosed.

Cycling, dangerous? On your bike.
Actually, far fewer riders are being hurt and killed than 10 years ago – cycling is far more likely to prolong your life than cut it short. Opportunity to post your comments.
The more you spend - the faster you go - the less you see.
«1

Posts

  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,806
    Due to some of the kn*bhe*ds I have to share the roads with there will always be a larger element of danger than I would like.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    The only time I really feel in danger is in the middle of a bunch in a road race or descending with better descenders than me - which is most people - traffic never really scares me which is silly as I nearly all the serious accidents you hear about involve collisions with motor vehicles.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • The NAO are committing an act of fraud here. Someone in government has asked the NAO to prove that cycling is unsafe, which is why 2004 data was used.

    Chris Peck's comments suggesting '...as statisticians they should be aware that you shouldn't measure changes against a single year...' is rubbish. It is a bit like having to tell a sailor that the sea is wet.

    Once again, we must point the finger at the individual human being concerned with this report.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,640
    If you laid all the statisticians in the world end to end, they'd still point in different directions.

    It is definitely true that 2004 is a strange year to compare with, and it has to invite suspicions that someone has a vested interest in showing cycling is dangerous; what isn't so obvious is why.
    I can think of a couple of possible ones: perhaps they want evidence to push for 20mph limits (would that be more dangerous because of all the cyclists overtaking cars?), or perhaps someone wants to get funding for more cycling bureacracy/infrastructure.
    I don't think the idea is to put people off cycling or argue against cycle friendly infrastructure.

    As for finding cycling dangerous, it's very subjective, isn't it? The most dangerous cycling has ever felt to me is along the dual carriageway (A90) between home and work - every time you hear a lorry come up behind you you fear for your life. But I've only ever rode that route very early in the morning, at weekends, in clear weather, and I'm sure that the actual risks are quite low. By contrast the only town section I regularly use has cycle lanes for most of the way, but I've had one nasty accident and several near misses. It doesn't feel as dangerous though, probably because it's so familiar.
    What does this tell you about the real risks? Nothing at all, of course, which is why we try and use statistics - despite the dangers of manipulation.
  • Mike HealeyMike Healey Posts: 1,023
    I don't find cycling dangerous, it's the being hit by a motor vehicle that does that
    Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastbradfordcyclingclub/
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastbradfordcyclingclub/
  • beverickbeverick Posts: 3,461
    I've had two falls so far this year not having fallen off for three years or so yes, it's more dangerous......

    Bob
  • PorgyPorgy Posts: 4,558
    I never feel it's dangerous but almost everyone at work thinks it is. I get gasps of amazement - not just that I cycle 32 miles a day, but alos that I do so in London and on main roads.

    But once you sort out where your accidents are likely to come from and take precautions I reckon its a lot safer than statistics imply. Statistics don;t sort out the novices and the idiots who may have contributed to their own demise.
  • PorgyPorgy Posts: 4,558
    beverick wrote:
    I've had two falls so far this year not having fallen off for three years or so yes, it's more dangerous......

    Bob

    Well done :D

    Of course you're completely correct.
  • jthefjthef Posts: 226
    When riding when I feel most unsafe is usually where the council have tried to make thing better by putting traffic islands, traffic calming measures everywhere making nice pinch points for buses and wagons and the odd car locking up etc :x
    Been lucky so far just a few bad van and 4X4 drivers have got close but the worst was me going too fast down a hill on the Cheshire cat, I was lucky 8) and hopefully learnt from it ( it was still fun though).
  • CumulonimbusCumulonimbus Posts: 1,730
    Porgy wrote:
    I never feel it's dangerous but almost everyone at work thinks it is. I get gasps of amazement - not just that I cycle 32 miles a day, but alos that I do so in London and on main roads.

    But once you sort out where your accidents are likely to come from and take precautions I reckon its a lot safer than statistics imply. Statistics don;t sort out the novices and the idiots who may have contributed to their own demise.

    I try to take precautions as well, keeping an eye out for people overtaking and then turning left, people opening car doors, etc... didnt stop me from being hit by an overtaking car in broad daylight though. I think his wing mirror clipped my handlebars. This unbalanced me and sent me falling into the road. Luckily i bounced off the back of his car and managed to get my balance back without crashing onto the pavement. Unluckily didnt leave any marks on the car. Amazing how people try to push past you when they could wait a bit longer and be able to catch up to the back of the traffic in no time.

    Sorry, going a little O/T here perhaps :oops:
  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,187
    Cycling isn't dangerous but a large minority of drivers on the roads are :( . No cars and cycling remains as safe as it always was :D .
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • squiredsquired Posts: 1,216
    I've been cycling to work in London for years. There were plenty of dangers when I cycled into the square mile, but things were far better when I relocated to Knightsbridge. Since I was made redundant last month I've been able to go riding on quieter roads. Yesterday I was shocked at the number of crazy moves and overtakes I experienced. I've cycled for years, so was fine, but a less experienced cyclist could have easliy been put off riding.
  • MIKE40MMIKE40M Posts: 6
    On the whole I think drivers are more aware of cyclists now - I think this is down to the increase in cycling that I've noticed over the last year in my area ( Bolton ).

    You still get the near misses though but they always seem to be around the same junctions. One junction always scares the hell out of me ( I've been cycling for over 30 years - I started young ! ). If anyone lives or cycles around the Bolton area then would be good to know if the same thing happens to them. The Chequerbent round-a-bout in Westhoughton is where I always get worried, each and everytime I go round it and pass the point where Park Road joins the round-a-bout the drivers just don't see me until the last minute - I'm sure one day one of these buggers will hit me.

    Thing is I have two thoughts on this - the first one is just not to go around this round-a-bout, but I think why should I let some poor driving make me change my training routes - so I go with my second option and that is approach this section with double care and be ready for them.

    Would be interested if anyone else cycles this route and has the same problems - maybe we could approach the council & see if anything can be done.
  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    Is cycling dangerous? Hell yeah!!

    I almost went into the front of a Porsche while overtakintg some car at a pinch point while doing 25mph....

    I confess, I used to have a motorbike, sometimes I just get into the zone :D:D
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • Tino4444Tino4444 Posts: 281
    jthef wrote:
    but the worst was me going too fast down a hill on the Cheshire cat, I was lucky 8) and hopefully learnt from it ( it was still fun though).

    Been there done that!! Nearly crapped my pants when I hit 44 MPH but at the same time it gave me a real buzz!!

    Tino.
    Speciallized Allez 09...great bike shame about the wheels!!
  • simon johnsonsimon johnson Posts: 1,064
    chuckcork wrote:
    Is cycling dangerous? Hell yeah!!

    I almost went into the front of a Porsche while overtakintg some car at a pinch point while doing 25mph....

    I confess, I used to have a motorbike, sometimes I just get into the zone :D:D

    Obviously you're Maverick and the Porsche driver is Ice Man; replace 'air' for 'road' etc etc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHL-PmoQGoQ
    Where\'s me jumper?
  • jjojjasjjojjas Posts: 346
    bompington wrote:
    If you laid all the statisticians in the world end to end, they'd still point in different directions.

    He's 98% correct. :D


    My personal experience of cycling has always been a very safe one. :)
    I gather some of you have different experiences though......possibly dependant upon location, route, and dare I say it....age and experience.
    Jas
    it looks a bit steep to me.....
  • pinnopinno Posts: 40,270
    If you all heve a moment - Please have a look at my new post "Shoot Clarkson Campaign" in the Campaign Forum.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • Cycling is safe, motoring isn't.

    I think some people are more aware of cyclists, but overall the spectrum of drving is widening. The worse drivers are getting really bad.

    Which brings me onto something I was reading the other day...

    http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales ... -23927812/

    Some previous customers were convicted, but did the DVLA systematically disqualify people who hadn't really passed their tests?
  • Chicane-UKChicane-UK Posts: 105
    Newbie to cycling. Have been road cycling now for a year and a bit, sometimes commuting to work in the summer months which is a 19 mile round trip. I live in in area where there are lots of business people in company cars, there are country lanes which just about accommodate two cars, and the traffic is HEAVY in term time.

    I have to say neither that weather, the effort, or getting to work sweating are what make me question whether to go to work on the bike every day but the attitudes of other motorists. I've had random abuse and insults shouted at me, I've nearly been knocked off more than once (and never because of something I did wrong) and am constantly in a position where I'm holding up traffic in a queue of cars just because of the way the roads are designed.

    People are just selfish, inconsiderate and only concerned about their own situation. They couldn't give two sh!ts that you might need to ride away from the curb to avoid potholes which would basically throw you off the bike, or that you're trying your bloody hardest to get up a hill whilst they sit behind you fuming.

    The only way cycling in this country will ever improve is if the country as a whole gets a 'sense of perspective' bypass and stops being so selfish!
    Planet X Nanolight High Modulus (Roadie) | 2008 Giant Bowery (Fixie)
  • Chicane-UK wrote:
    am constantly in a position where I'm holding up traffic in a queue of cars just because of the way the roads are designed.

    People are just selfish, inconsiderate and only concerned about their own situation.
    Ironically, a car driver might consider you selfish for choosing to ride along roads that will result in you holding up a queue of cars behind you.

    I do think car drivers are more impatient than they used to be. I am constantly amazed at how many cars overtake me when as far as I'm concerned my speed is only limited by the car in front, and I am just following it at a safe distance. So the car comes alongside me to "overtake" at which point they reach a safe distance behind the car in front and there they are, right next to me, so now we're both travelling along the road, inches apart, at the same speed. Pointless.
  • Chicane-UKChicane-UK Posts: 105
    Ironically, a car driver might consider you selfish for choosing to ride along roads that will result in you holding up a queue of cars behind you.

    Indeed - you are right and I could see / understand that. The problem is that, unless I go literally miles out of my way, I can't avoid it.. if they'd build some cycle paths, i'd happily use them as an alternative.

    It's a classic case of "don't hate the player, hate the game" - the government is making a push to encourage people to cycle but doing nothing to facilitate it beyond reduced priced bikes.

    It's eye opening (and a bit frustrating!) to visit Hollland where cycle-paths run along every main road. No wonder so many people cycle there!
    Planet X Nanolight High Modulus (Roadie) | 2008 Giant Bowery (Fixie)
  • SicknoteSicknote Posts: 901
    Chicane-UK wrote:
    Ironically, a car driver might consider you selfish for choosing to ride along roads that will result in you holding up a queue of cars behind you.

    Indeed - you are right and I could see / understand that. The problem is that, unless I go literally miles out of my way, I can't avoid it.. if they'd build some cycle paths, i'd happily use them as an alternative.

    It's a classic case of "don't hate the player, hate the game" - the government is making a push to encourage people to cycle but doing nothing to facilitate it beyond reduced priced bikes.

    It's eye opening (and a bit frustrating!) to visit Hollland where cycle-paths run along every main road. No wonder so many people cycle there!

    I drive too and for the most part if you are behind a cyclist you might be delayed by at most a few minutes and sometime seconds which is amazing as to what some drivers will do to try and save that time.

    Which most of the time to put the cyclist at risk.
  • Chicane-UKChicane-UK Posts: 105
    Which most of the time to put the cyclist at risk.

    Absolutely. It's the complete lack of regard for the cyclist which is most alarming - I just don't think the driver education is there to make them aware of just how fragile a person on a bike is. All it takes is an accidental nudge or just not even leaving them enough room forcing them into a huge pothole or something. That bit of carelessness could cost a cyclist their life and cost the driver a lengthy prison spell - yet all that seems to go out of the window when they just HAVE to overtake you.

    It's craziness :(
    Planet X Nanolight High Modulus (Roadie) | 2008 Giant Bowery (Fixie)
  • Just got back from an hour and a half spin and I had an unusually torrid time with drivers. It's the end of Saturday of the August bank holiday weekend and I wonder if this had something to do with it.

    I've done a lot of riding on the roads over the last twenty years (London bike courier back in the early Nineties and now 150 miles-plus a week and road racing for years) so it's not lack of experience. I think now and again a coming together of factors will make some days out on the bike just a lot more dangerous than others. Today, in less than twenty five miles I had six separate incidents, four of which involved drivers behaving aggressively, with behaviour ranging from hand gestures for no apparent reason, through deliberately cutting me up on a bend, to being driven at by an oncoming car (I think he thought he was in a one way street (he wasn't!) and resented me going the 'wrong' way) and two minor incidents involving the usual blind stupidity.

    So I reckon today was a bad day to be out on the roads, particularly on a bike. Drivers were tired. Many had sat in traffic jams all day. It had been hot, the Summer is ending, It's obviously not an excuse for killing bike-riders, but I think I might bear it in mind for next time.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 40,270
    To all those who posted a comment in this forum - please vote in my poll - 'Fair Guarantee' Lobby for changes in the legal system.
    Underneath the poll is a breif outline of the proposals to give you a better idea as to what the vote is about.
    Your vote would really be appreciated.
    Thanks.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • I cycle too and from work, here in gloucester it is pretty cycle freindly , cycle paths etc etc, but it is the mindless morons at traffic lights, wanting to turn right who get on my wick, they see you coming but still insist in either pulling out on you, or has what to me on thursday , a bus at the lights cut across to my left to turn left, even better another bus had over taken a couple of friends and myself to suddenlly pull in to a lay bye, causing us to anchour on. needless to say in got both barrels. what is it with these people can they not just wait for 5 seconds , I know there are cyclist who give us a bad name, eg
    going through lights not waring a helmet, but they should,nt tar us with the same brush.
    enough said ..rant over.
    What do you meen you did not see me.
    I,m the pillock in the Hi vis top.
  • teagarteagar Posts: 2,100
    Cyclists in traffic has become a big public issue over the last few years. Thus (or because) drivers are more sensitive to how the cyclists affect them. It just feeds back on itself.

    Best thing is just keep your head down and let it all just roll off your skin. Doubt it's much more dangerous (if at all), than driving, just the dangers feel more immediate.
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • i do find it dangerous on the roads, ive been mowed down twice in the last 6 years by cars that have failed to look, one of them was coming opposite direction and took a right turn right into me on a dry sunny day! :roll:

    I dont think it helps with what i see as a lack of cyclists on the roads in Glasgow and definately when the winter months approach and numbers seriously drop, you are fair game with many drivers giving you no room and ive experienced some horrendous road rage for cycling along minding my own business.

    Added to the disregard for ASLs and the lack of space given when being overtaken, i can understand why people feel roads are dangerous places to cycle.

    More cyclists on the road would help improve this, Glasgow weather and driver aggression doesnt encourage this.

    It could be a sign of the times, everything in life is faster now. People want things now and yesterday, from the development of email to how peoples productive times at work are monitored in many cases. Many people forget to enjoy the moment and are always rushing around to the next item in their own worlds "busy agenda", constantly thinking ahead on what they have to do, instead of enjoying where they are at that moment. I do believe this is a major contribution to the craziness on the roads.
    FCN = 5
  • neilmacdneilmacd Posts: 128
    Definitely agree about the roads in Glasgow being a nightmare.
    4 times on my 7 mile ride into work this morning I had people either pull out from a side street/ parking bay without looking and I had to hammer my brakes on. Thankfully it was dry otherwise I'd have been off I reckon.

    The piece de resistance though was the censored who pulled out from a queue of traffic, no indicator or anything to zoom 400 yards aup a congetsed dual carriageway to then pull into the same traffic jam nearly taking me out in the process. Cue angry hand gestures and sweary words from yours truly.

    In fairness to car drivers, PEdestrians can be just as bad when they walk blindly into a road. Over the years I've knocked 2 mupepts down at exactly the same spot.
    Scott CR1 Team
    Bitsa training bike. Bitsa this Bitsa that.......
    I'd rather quit than buy from Halfords
Sign In or Register to comment.