Although the amount of deaths are falling, the amount of serious injuries that cyclists receive are increasing. I have decided to find out why and what needs to be done to make Britain’s roads safe again.
As the amount of cyclists on the roads increases, the injuries do too. Cyclists have now become the second most endangered people on the once safe streets. Accidents are most common in urban areas and London’s streets have become a death trap for cyclists, where on average, 14 cyclists die each year.
I have interviewed a cyclist from London and asked about his experiences. Graham, 49, is a keen cyclist and has been road cycling for around 10 years. In this time he has been involved in three accidents, the most serious less than a year ago. “At about seven in the morning I was cycling to meet some friends. As I came to the Chinese roundabout in Beckenham a driver hit me from behind and drove off without stopping”. His injuries included concussion, broken bones and lots of cuts and bruises, not including the shock and fright that he must have felt. “It could have been worse,” he said. Despite the conditions of the roads being “appalling” and a lack of investment over the years, Graham believes that the main issue is the road users themselves. He told me that “if you can reduce the speed of cars and cut down the amount of people using their phone whilst driving you could probably prevent a lot of accidents.”
I then asked what his advice was for those who are interested in cycling, or those who are driving. “You must always be aware and try and anticipate what other road users will do. Always follow the Highway Code and never go out without a helmet!”
So if you ever find yourself driving past a group of cyclists or fancy joining the local club, always be aware and do everything you can to keep safe.
Libby Cheeseman - Langley Park School For Girls