A cyclist is involved in a road traffic accident every other hour in Greater London, according to data analysis conducted by Aviva. Research of five years’ worth of police road traffic accident data by Aviva shows that there were 22,988 motor accidents involving cyclists inside the M25 between 2009 and 2013 – more than 12 every day. Tragically, this number includes 80 fatalities. Already this year there have been four cyclist fatalities in London.
Research by the UK’s largest insurer also identified the top ten most dangerous roundabouts and junctions in London for cyclists.
Simon Warsop, chief underwriting officer, Aviva, said: “Cycling in London has never been more popular but the continued rise in the number of accidents involving cyclists is alarming. The human cost of these incidents can be immeasurable and we believe more can be done to reduce them. Too many are killed on London’s roads and far more are seriously injured. The injuries cyclists suffer can be life-changing, and although we can fix broken metal, we can’t always fix broken bodies.
“Aviva believes an improved transport infrastructure would create safer streets which would reduce the risk of an accident for all road users. For example, we would support Transport for London’s (TfL) segregated London Cycle Superhighway and TfL’s Better Junctions Scheme.”
Aviva examined its own claims data to highlight to all road users some of the common factors associated with serious accidents involving cyclists.
MAMILs cycling to work
According to Aviva’s claims data, commuters represent 64% of all seriously injured cyclist claimants. Half of these are MAMILs (middle aged men in lycra) as Aviva’s data shows one-third (32%) of all seriously injured cyclists were men aged 40 – 49 on their way to and from work.
HGVs disproportionately involved in serious cyclist accidents
Of the serious accidents involving cyclists reported to Aviva, vans (37%) and heavy goods vehicles (35%) were most frequently involved. HGVs are involved in more than 1 in 3 serious accidents with cyclists, but make up less than 1 in 20 vehicles on the road.
Gender disparity in safety measures
Aviva’s analysis of its claims data of accidents involving cyclists also found men and women take different approaches to personal safety. Men, for example, were more likely to wear a helmet (70% found to be wearing a helmet, compared with 50% of women). However, only 34% of men involved in serious road accidents were wearing high visibility clothing, compared with 44% of women.
In the dark
Aviva’s claims data showed that one-third (33%) of cyclists involved in serious accidents after dark were not using lights. It is illegal to cycle on a public road after dark without lights and reflectors.
Aviva’s analysis comes as recent figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) show that nationally, cyclists are the only road user group where reported casualties remain above the 2005 – 2009 average. Cyclist casualties are also on the increase, according to the DfT figures, which show an 8% rise in the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured.
Simon Warsop continued, “London’s roads are some of the nation’s busiest, and most people are keen to get where they are going to as quickly as possible. However, we would urge all road users to be more aware of each other and the dangers on the roads.
“The good news is that most of these factors are within our control as responsible motorists and cyclists. Taking necessary road safety precautions and looking out for each other will help cut the number and severity of accidents involving cyclists. It’s better to get home safely than not at all.”
Full press release on www.aviva.co.uk