Driving theory test should have more focus on cyclists, says survey

95 percent believed more awareness would lead to fewer accidents

More emphasis should be put on cyclists in the UK driving theory test, a survey by cycle insurance provider Cycleguard has shown.

The survey, which questioned 500 people, showed that 95 percent believed a theory test which better highlighted the risk to cyclists would result in increased awareness and fewer accidents. The most common gripe (55 percent) was with cyclists being pushed into tight spaces alongside heavy traffic, while the second most annoying situation (36 percent) was when motor vehicles cut them up when turning in front of them.

The remaining nine percent was shared between cars overtaking too fast and leaving their headlights on full beam. The survey also revealed a dim view of the way they are seen by other road users.

James Pickering, Managing Director of Cycleguard said: “With more vehicles on the road then ever before, Britain’s roads can be an intimidating place. Cyclists are amongst the most vulnerable group of road users and our survey indicates they are feeling physically squeezed off the roads.

“Drivers and cyclists have to share the roads and cyclists clearly feel that most other road users lack proper awareness of them and that a greater emphasis on cyclists during the early stages of drivers’ motoring careers would remedy this.”

The survey comes at a time when more people than ever before are cycling on Britain’s roads. Cycleguard says that while more than 4 million bicycles were sold in the UK last year, the number of motor vehicles continues to grow; Government figures show there are more than 34 million on Britain’s roads. According to recent research by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), four out of every five cycling fatalities or serious injuries involve another vehicle.

Dr Shaun Helman, principal psychologist at the TRL and one of the report’s authors, said: “Cyclists are obviously vulnerable to injury, so avoiding collisions in the first place is paramount.  We need to make sure that motorists look for cyclists in the right places on the road, detect them, and see their claim to road space as legitimate.  Raising awareness among motorists is a natural first step to understanding what is a complex road-safety problem.”

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