There has been a lot of coverage regarding the Road Safety Authority’s report on cyclist casualties in 2012. The report shows that cyclist injuries hit a ten-year high (2002 to 2012), with 630 cyclists injured on Ireland’s roads. This represents a 59% increase compared to cyclist injuries in 2011.
Below are some of the key findings:
- 630 cyclists were injured in 2012, a ten-year high. Over 50% of these injuries were in Dublin
- Three-quarters of cyclists injured in 2012 were male, while over half were aged 25 to 49.
- Cyclist injuries peaked from May to September. Evening and morning rush-hour are the times when cyclists are most likely to be injured.
- Over 8 in 10 cyclist injuries occurred in built-up areas rather than in rural areas.
- 200% increase in spinal trauma from cycling injuries in the National Spinal Centre.
What cyclists can do to protect themselves:
RSA has the following advice for cyclists:
- Never cycle in the dark without adequate lighting.
- Always wear luminous clothing such as hi-vis vests, fluorescent armbands and reflective belts so that other road users can see you.
- Wear a helmet.
- Make sure you keep to the left. Always look behind and give the proper signal before moving off, changing lanes or making a turn.
- Steer clear of left-turning trucks/buses: let them turn before you move ahead.
- Remember, if you cannot see, the driver cannot see you.
- Maintain your bike properly – in particular, your brakes should work properly, and your tyres should be inflated to the right pressure and be in good condition
- Watch your speed, especially when cycling on busy streets and going downhill.
What can drivers do to protect cyclists:
- Drivers should choose a speed that is appropriate for the environment and their surroundings. This is especially true when sharing the road with cyclists and pedestrians
- Drivers should watch out for cyclists in their blind spots and junctions, especially when turning left or right.
Cyclists and drivers need to work together to make the roads safer for cyclists.