During the peak of lockdown, COVID-19 had a significant impact on our transportation habits while we were encouraged to stay at home. The roads were quieter and, positively, we also saw more people take up cycling to keep fit while avoiding public transport, with 1.3 million Brits having purchased a bike during lockdown.
Now that we’re out of the full lockdown, people have finally been able to make up for lost time by visiting loved ones and going on ‘staycations’. This means vehicle usage is getting back to normal levels, and the roads are busier with more cyclists.
But sadly, with more drivers and cyclists sharing the road, we have seen an increase in car accidents involving cyclists. The proportion of car insurance claims we received for bodily injury involving cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists has doubled in recent months – these accidents now account for around one in five (20%) bodily injury claims, up from one in 10 (10%).
This trend could unfortunately increase further as more drivers and cyclists take to the road, with the government encouraging more people to embrace cycling following the launch of their Fix your Bike Voucher Scheme.
It is great to see people getting out and about again, whether by car or bike, but we really don’t want to see cyclists getting injured. A collision with a car could have life-changing consequences for them, so please be cautious when you’re on the road. It is worth reminding yourself of the following important steps to prevent accidents.
- Indicate clearly so that other road users know when you’re turning
- Check mirrors / blind spots regularly for cars and cyclists
- Look in between cars for any cyclists that might be filtering through traffic
- Leave plenty of space for cyclists and other vehicles so that, if anything unexpected occurs, there is more margin for error
- Be cautious when navigating turns / junctions as these can be dangerous if not taken carefully
To reduce the risk of injury, cyclists should also ensure they wear a helmet and use cycle lanes where possible.