Tuesday, December 29, 2009

UK Study: Most Car on Bike Crashes Caused by Motorists

The results of a new study by the United Kingdom Department for Transport found that most serious crashes involving a motorist and an adult cyclist are caused by the motorist, reports The Guardian.

According to the study, UK police found the motorist to be solely responsible for the crash in approximately 60%-75% of the cases, while cyclists were found to be solely at fault 17%-25% of the time.

In 2% of the cases, the cyclist was found to have disobeyed a traffic signal or stop sign. In 2.5% of the cases, a potential cause of the crash was due to the fact that the cyclist was wearing dark clothing. A failure on behalf of the cyclist to use lights was responsible for 2% of the crashes.

The study found that a quarter of all cycling deaths in 2005-2007, were caused by motorists rear-ending cyclists. These types of deaths were found to be more common in rural areas; accounting for one-third of all deaths.

The head of the UK National Cyclists' Organization lobby group, Chris Peck, believes that this report supports the lobby group's view that the UK government is overly-fascinated with putting helmets on cyclists' heads rather than focusing on curbing poor driving behavior, which is statistically a larger and more deadly threat. Furthermore, Peck went on to say that "We believe that the government should now focus on tackling the causes of injury which appears to be mainly inconsiderate and dangerous driving. Reduced speed limits, stronger traffic law enforcement and cycle-friendly road design are the solutions."

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