Drivers urged to ‘Think Bikes’ with stickers on mirrors

A person riding a bike in a cycle lane

The Think Bikes campaign is now a decade old.

The latest Department for Transport figures show that 91 cyclists and 350 motorcyclists were killed on Britain’s Roads in 2022.  

Now, on the 10th anniversary of their ‘Think Bikes’ campaign, the AA believes more work needs to be done to improve safety for road users on two wheels. 

Bike safety message still ‘relevant’ today 

When comparing 2014 to 2022, deaths of cyclists fell by 20%, meanwhile, motorcyclist deaths fell by only 5%. 15,693 cyclists were injured in 2022 (down 25% from 2014) and 16,943 motorcyclists (down nearly 17%) suffered the same fate. 

The figures and landmark birthday of the safety campaign have led to new calls for drivers to place small ‘Think Bike’ stickers on their on their wing mirrors to remind them to look out for bikes and motorbikes. 

Visibility seems to be a large part of the problem, as a survey of more than 12,000 AA members found that 89% of respondents agree with the statement “it’s sometimes hard to see cyclists.” 

Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust, said: “The survey shows that 89% of drivers agreed that it is ‘hard to see cyclists’ but it shouldn’t be if they look in the right places.” 

Mr King added: “It is now 10 years since we launched our Think Bike sticker campaign. But unfortunately, the message is still as relevant today as it was a decade ago.” 

Jeremy Vine, broadcaster and cyclist, said: “I’m so pleased to see that the AA is doing this because, if you’re on two wheels, you do feel quite vulnerable. 

“And I always think when you’re in a car – I drive too – you don’t always see that that person on the bicycle is a mum, a sister, somebody’s son, someone’s grandfather, maybe even their great-grandfather.” 

Since its launch the ‘Think Bikes’ campaign has been adopted by motoring clubs across Europe and has won the FIA Innovation Award and the FIM Global Road Safety Award. 

How can safety be improved? 

In 2022, 373 cyclists and motorcyclists were injured by drivers opening their car doors without looking.  

There is a simple technique to rectify this, known as the Dutch Reach. This is a way of opening your car door with the hand furthest from the door, rather than the one closest. 

It’s been used in the Netherlands since the 1970s, hence the name, and it encourages drivers to check their mirrors and blind spots before opening doors, reducing the risk of accidents. 

If you’d like more road safety information, check out our blog on changes to the Highway Code. 

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