This guide will answer the question, “Where do most bicycle accidents occur?“, and will look at what can cause a cyclist accident.
We’ll look at specific locations in which accidents can happen, looking in particular at fatal accidents.
We also look at the times in the day when cycling accidents are more likely to happen and contrast the safety of urban and rural roads.
Where Do Most Bicycle Accidents Occur?
According to government-reported road accident casualties, in Great Britain, between 2015 – 2020, 19% of all pedal cycle accidents took place on rural roads, and 81% of all cycling-related casualties took place on urban roads.
There are also points on the road where accidents are more likely to happen. The most frequent places for a collision involving a pedal bike include:
- 10.3% – crossroads
- 38.1% – Y, T or staggered junctions
- 1.1% – junctions with more than 4 arms
- 3.7% – other types of junction
- 11.8% – roundabouts
- 2.2% – mini roundabouts
- 0.6% – slip roads
- 3.7% – private drives or entranceways
- 27.7% – not within 20 metres of a junction
- 0.8% – unknown
As you can see, roundabouts are potentially dangerous for cyclists. But more so, junctions are by far the more dangerous, particularly Y, T and staggered junctions. Crossroads are similar to junctions too.
So adding all of these variations together, over 50% of all cycling accidents occur at some form of junction.
Where Do Most Fatal Cycling Accidents Occur?
You may wonder how common fatal bicycle accidents are. On average, from 2015 -2020, 2 cyclists per week were killed in Great Britain.
Moreover, government statistics show that the type of road can be a contributory factor to where fatal cycling accidents occur. 56% of fatal bicycle accidents happened on rural roads, no doubt down to the higher speed limits, blind bends and narrow lanes.
44% of fatal bicycle accidents took place on urban roads. Despite the lower figure, cyclists are more likely to suffer a less serious injury on urban roads compared to rural ones.
You may wonder where about on roads most fatal collisions happen. The reported road casualties for 2015 – 2020 also explain that junctions remain a danger for cyclists. These are the most common road locations for a fatal collision involving a pedal bike:
- 9.5% – crossroads
- 21.6% – Y, T or staggered junction
- 1.1% – junction with more than 4 arms
- 2.3% – other junction
- 4.5% – roundabout
- 0.3% – mini-roundabout
- 0.9% – slip road
- 1.1% – private drive or entrance way
- 58.6% – not within 20 metres of a junction
- 0.0% – unknown
Rural Vs Urban Cycling Safety
When considering answers to the question, “Where do most bicycle accidents occur?” we know from the statistics that fatal cycling accidents are more likely to occur on rural roads.
But as mentioned above, the chance of suffering injuries on busy urban roads is higher. Indeed when we look at the total number of casualties, most bike accidents do occur on urban roads. However, a cyclist is more likely to suffer a fatal accident on a rural road.
Sharp bends and higher speed limits can be hazardous when riding a bike in the countryside. Roads may be too narrow for a driver to safely overtake a cyclist, which could cause a collision. Here are some tips for riding safely on the roads.
- Pull in at a safe place so oncoming traffic can overtake you when riding two abreast.
- Don’t ride in the gutter. Ride in a visible road position, and only pull in so cars can overtake you when it is safe to do so.
- You may also need bike lights during the day if your route involves travelling through tunnels or under low-hanging trees.
- Wear a helmet to protect your head and bright clothing so drivers can see you.
When Do Most Cycling Accidents Occur?
Government road traffic accident statistics show that from 2015 – 2020, there are times during weekdays and weekends when cycling accidents are more likely to take place.
- During the week, the peak times for pedal cyclists to be killed or seriously injured is 7 am to 10 am and 4 pm to 7 pm.
- At weekends, the peak time for pedal cyclists to be killed or seriously injured is between 10 am and 12 noon.
Weather conditions can also be a contributing factor to how likely a road accident is to occur. Wet or icy weather can make the surface of the roads slippery, making it harder for a rider or driver to stay in control. Poor weather conditions may also reduce visibility, making it harder for drivers to see cyclists.
A report published by NHS Bristol found that wet or icy roads were a significant contributing factor to many hospital admissions from road traffic accidents.
Please contact us today for more information about road safety advice or information about claiming compensation for cycling injuries.
We appreciate you reading our guide on where most bicycle accidents occur. If you’d like to learn more, please see our guides below: