A long-term study made by researchers from the University of Surrey has revealed how dangerous UK roads are for cyclists, with a disproportionately high number of cyclist injuries compared to car drivers and passengers, as reported in the Independent.
From 1999 to 2004 71,000 car users were injured severely, compared with 35,000 cyclists in the same period. With an average of 637 trips per person made by car compared with 15 by bike – and a ratio of one cyclist injured for every two car passengers, the researchers have called on authorities to increase cyclist safety.
The figures contrast strongly with those in Holland and Denmark where a quarter of the population use bicycles, compared with just four per cent in the UK. These countries also report lower injury and death rates among cyclists, with English cyclists three times more likely to suffer injury or death for every mile travelled compared with cyclists in those countries.
The findings – that more riders in Holland and Denmark have seen less injuries than in the UK – back the CTC’s ‘Safety in Numbers’ campaign.
In the journal Injury Prevention, the researchers said: "If car and bicycle journeys were equally safe or hazardous, trip for trip, one would expect 40 times fewer admissions for injuries to cyclists than to car occupants… Per trip, cycling is more risky, as measured by hospital admission, than travelling by car."