A new survey by eBikes Direct has revealed how ignorant British drivers are about the rights of cyclists despite daily contact.
The survey of 1,000 drivers from across the UK found that they regularly lose their temper with cyclists under the belief that they’re breaking the law or cycling without due care and attention. As a result, 39 per cent of drivers surveyed confess to having got angry with a cyclist.
Men are typically more prone to road rage, and they got angrier than women: 42 per cent compared to 37.5 per cent overall. The angriest region was the South East, where 80 per cent of drivers have verbally abused a cyclist.
When it comes to the law, 81 per cent of drivers believe that cyclists are required to remain on the left-hand side of the lane. However, it is actually legal for cyclists to ride in the middle of the road. Similarly, 65 per cent of drivers incorrectly believe that cyclists are required to cycle within a cycle lane if there is one – but cyclists can ride outside of the cycle lane and it is not against the law.
Over half of those questioned – 53 per cent – incorrectly believed that cyclists are not allowed on dual carriageways. And 55 per cent of drivers believed that laws should be passed that require cyclists to have insurance to ride Britain’s roads.
73 per cent of Brits and 92 per cent of Londoners believe that cyclists are not allowed to ride two abreast on the road. Again, legally, cyclists are entitled to.
42 per cent of drivers do not think electric bikes are allowed on both cycle lanes and roads; electric bikes can be ridden on any cycle paths and anywhere else that bicycles are normally allowed. Over half of drivers – 56.5 per cent – do not believe an electric bike rider is allowed to overtake a car and nearly a third of drivers believe that an electric bike will power itself up to 30mph. Legally, however, an electric bike will only power itself up to 15mph.
Finally, the survey found that 35 per cent of drivers do not check behind them when opening the door to their car on a road.
“A lack of knowledge about cyclists’ rights on our roads is leading to altercations and accidents,” said Matt Flanagan from eBikes Direct. “In order for us to all stay safe and happy on our roads, it’s vital that we equip ourselves with the right information.”