Two thirds of drivers think aggressive cyclists are a threat to their safety

Cyclist in London

Do you believe aggressive cyclists are a danger to your safety?

For almost two in three drivers, the answer is yes, despite there being a high number of cycling fatalities over the years.

Driver vs cyclist

A poll of 2,010 motorists, commissioned by road-safety charity IAM RoadSmart, found that 60% of drivers believe that aggressive cyclists are a bigger problem than they were three years ago.

It also found that 61% would not support a law that worked on the assumption drivers are always responsible for collisions with cyclists in urban areas.

While drivers think cyclists pose a great danger, some stats don’t support their view.

Figures from the Department for Transport show that just four car occupants were killed in crashes involving a bicycle and a car from 2012 to 2021, compared with 494 fatalities of cyclists in such incidents in that same time period.

On the other hand, nearly four out of five (78%) respondents said people driving motor vehicles aggressively are putting their safety at risk – around 108 people were killed in 2021 in crashes where aggressive driving was a contributory factor, equivalent to 8% of all road deaths.

Calls for safer roads

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart’s director of policy and research, said: “The Government has introduced a range of laws in recent years in an effort to fix the daily conflicts we see between motorists and cyclists.

But if our research is anything to go by, this has largely been to no avail, with the majority of respondents still reporting aggression among road users.”

Mr Greig added: “There is no quick-fix to this issue, but our research sheds light on the urgent need for the Government to maintain its education campaigns on the new Highway Code, and continue to invest in safe road markings for more vulnerable road users to minimise the chance of conflict wherever possible.

“In the meantime, all road users, whether on two or four wheels, should exercise calmness and restraint to help us all use Britain’s roads safely.”

Under new Highway Code rules, drivers have more responsibility to watch out for people cycling, walking or riding a horse. Read to find out more about these changes.

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