It will come as no great surprise to you that cyclists are at greater risk of injury on the road, than almost any other category of road user (except perhaps motorcycles). If you have been involved in a road traffic accident that was not your fault, and you are looking for a solicitor to assist you in pursuing a personal injury claim, look no further than the Free Legal Advice Centre, whose video-based information site is a great resource for people who are seeking all kinds of legal advice.
In 2013, the most recent full year for which statistics are available, there were 252,913 reported road accidents of all severities. There may, in fact, have been more accidents – but this is the number of accidents which the Department of Transport can verifiably include in their data.
Of this 252,913, 185,769 (73.45%) involved cars; 19,538 (7.73%) involved motorcycles; and 20,049 (7.93%) involved pedal cycles. The remainder involved buses, coaches, vans, light and heavy goods vehicles, and cases in which the vehicle type was not reported.
As you can see, cyclists are slightly more likely to be involved in an accident than motorcyclist, but much less likely than occupants of a car. However, when you look at the number of accidents compared to the rate of accidents per billion vehicle miles you get a slightly different picture. Analysing the statistics this way allows you to take into consideration the number of cars on the road, in comparison with cycles, and the number of journeys undertaken by both.
- Number of car accidents (of all severities) per billion vehicle miles: 774
- Number of motorcycle accidents per billion vehicle miles: 7,264
- Number of cycle accidents per billion vehicle miles: 6,407
We can see from this breakdown that motorcycles and pedal cycles are far more likely to become involved in an accident than cars.
But what of the dangers to each respective vehicle user?
- Number of fatal car accidents per billion vehicle miles: 7.5
- Number of fatal motorcycle accidents per billion vehicle miles: 132
- Number of fatal cycle accidents per billion vehicle miles: 39
From this analysis we can see that the chances of being fatally injured in a car accident is relatively low; in a cycling accident is somewhat higher; and in a motorcycle accident substantially higher.
Breaking down the data
There are many other ways of breaking the data down, and this can be useful in targeting safety campaigns. For example, the age group most at risk (in terms of highest numbers) of being involved in a car accident, are those aged 40-49. This is true for both male and female drivers; however, this number could be inflated by the fact that men and women of this age bracket are more likely to own cars than younger or older people, and that they are possibly more likely to drive longer distances.
By breaking down the data like this we can, for example, target particular driving campaigns at this age group of drivers.