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England Travel Tips 
Discover the Real England   

      

   

  By Mike Valeriani
   
 
Regions: N West N East Yorkshire W Midlands E Midlands East S West S East

Bike Accidents in London

 

Bicycle crushed under a lorry in LondonBike accidents are common in a city with so many cyclists. With a ray of sunshine, London is one of the most beautiful cities in the world to cycle. There are countless bike paths and bike lanes; there are also Cycle Superhighways.

This doesn’t mean it is not dangerous. Other road users are often not very kind to cyclists, especially due to the number of bikes at rush hour and the wrong attitude of many cyclist commuters, who think they always have priority no matter what, just because they ride a bike. This results in many bike accidents. Also watch for buses; NEVER assume the driver has seen you. In London there is a serious accident between a bicycle and a bus every day of the year. Bus drivers in London work for up to 80 hours per week and they are often not as experienced as you would think. I know this, because I used to be a driving instructor for buses in London.

Bicycle accident in London carrying open umbrellaHow to Avoid Bike Accidents:

A good way to avoid bike accidents is to follow the rules of the free Highway Code for bicycles.

It is much more important that you might think to stop at a red light, especially when you are not familiar with the place.

Also wearing bright colours is much more important than most people might think. I’ve heard it before: “... so if I don’t wear the High Visibility Vest other motorists won’t see me?”  The answer is yes and no. These are safety precautions adopted after spending millions in safety studies. I remember once a bus driver telling me that he almost run over an old lady on a bicycle, because she was wearing clothes similar to the surrounding on a dull day.

He was not stupid at all, he was just finishing a 12 hours killer shift and he told me that if that old lady would have worn a High Visibility Vest, he would have seen her much earlier. 

Remainings of tragic bicycle accident in LondonSadly bus drivers in London are legally allowed (and often required to) work for up to 13 hours a day, 80 hours per week.

On top of that they are legally allowed to drive for 13 days in a row without rest days and with only a 30 minutes lunch break. Lunch breaks often becomes of 20 minutes, because the time is calculated from the second they step off the bus to the second they step on the next one.

So be careful; always assume they haven't seen you: wait, look, listen and then go. Also remember that not everyone out there is happily enjoying a holiday with a full stomach. Most accidents happen because a driver is angry, intollerant, sleepy or hungry. 

 

Why do people cycle in London?

Commuting/business 42%
Leisure/other 40%
Education/escort education 6%
Shopping 6%
Other escort/personal business 6% 

 

Some Accident Statistics:

90% of accidents occur in urban areas (where 77% of cycling takes place).
75% of accidents occur at or near a road junction (not stopping with a red light).
80% of accidents occur in daylight (mostly commuters).
80% of cyclist casualties are male (attitude problem - "I was first" or "I have priority").
25% of cyclist are hit by vehicle turning left (even if you have priority, always look and/or wait).
17% of cyclist are hit by vehicle travelling alongside (don't race other vehicles, it's stupid).
10% of cyclists are run into from behind (wear a high visibility vest). 

A bicycle crushed by a lorry in London EnglandFor cyclists "killed and seriously injured" the London Accident Analysis Unit has identified these main contributory factors:

29% other vehicle turns across or into the path of a cyclist.

10% cyclist hit by, or swerves to avoid, open door.

9% cyclist rides into path of other vehicle.

7% no one else involved.

 

 

 

 

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