One-fifth of cyclists fear for their own safety whilst using UK roads, and only 11 per cent feel joy, a social study has revealed.
Specialist cycling insurer Cycleplan has conducted a “first of its kind” social study, analysing over half a million social media posts from both cyclists and drivers, to identify what each consider to be the other’s worst road behaviours. Further inspection of the language used in each post has provided insight into the emotional state of today’s road users.
In addition to fear, Cycleplan has found that over half of today’s road users are regularly experiencing extreme emotional states of anger towards one another. The volume of overall posts peaks on Wednesdays, which can be attributed to tensions rising high on hump day.
According to cyclists, speeding drivers cause the most concern for their overall safety, with over 51,000 posts published to social media on this issue. This road behaviour almost certainly has a direct correlation to hit and run incidents, cited as the third worst behaviour amongst drivers by cyclists.
The biggest frustration for drivers is the “lack of appropriate high-visibility clothing and equipment employed.” More than a quarter of drivers posts cite this as a key frustration whilst sharing the roads.
Further assessment of the survey data demographic highlights that nearly three-quarters of the social media posts were uploaded by a male respondent. In addition, nine out of ten posts were from persons aged 35 and above.
As a result of the social study findings, Olympic cyclist and Cycleplan ambassador Lizzie Deignan commented: “To make the roads a better and safer place for cyclists and drivers alike, we need to remove the blame by each side.
“The more understanding we all have in sharing the road, the less stressful travelling on them will be. As a driver and a cyclist, it’s equally important that when I’m riding my bike or driving my car, I’m adhering to the Highway Code because it’s not just about my safety, it’s about everybody else’s safety. You have an equal responsibility whether you’re driving or cycling – it’s about mutual respect."