In over two-fifths of cases where an Irish cyclist was injured in a collision with a car, it was reported that the driver had failed to observe. The finding comes from recent research conducted by The Road Safety Authority (RSA) as it calls for more investment in cycling infrastructure.
The RSA analysis looked at the leading causes of cyclist injuries in Ireland from 2006-2018. The report also features an in-depth review of cyclist injuries in 2016.
In 41.4 per cent (268) of cases where a cyclist was injured in a collision with a car, it was reported that the car driver had failed to observe.
Similarly, in 40 per cent (34) of cyclist injuries in collisions with goods vehicles, it was reported that the goods vehicle driver had failed to observe.
The manoeuvre of cars and goods vehicles most associated with cyclist injuries in 2016 was “driving forward” – approximately two in five occasions for each.
For cars, the next most common manoeuvre associated with cyclist injuries was turning right (20.5 per cent), while for goods vehicles, the opposite was true, and left turns were more associated with cyclist injuries (20 per cent).
In 19.8 per cent (128) of cases where a cyclist was injured in a collision with a car, it was reported that the cyclist had failed to observe. In 3.9 per cent (25) of cases, it was reported that the cyclist had failed to stop or yield.
In 63.4 per cent of cases no contributory actions by the cyclist(s) involved were identified.
Just under 87 per cent of cyclist injuries occurred as a result of collisions on urban roads (less than or equal to 60 km/h) – typically on two-way single carriageways.
Over half of cyclist injuries occurred at junctions and nearly a quarter resulted from collisions at T-junctions.
Speaking on publication of the report, Moyagh Murdock, the CEO of the Road Safety Authority said: “We need to remove the potential for conflict by providing more dedicated and better cycling infrastructure.”
She continued: “Ireland is lagging behind many of our European counterparts in introducing dedicated cycle tracks.
“We need separate infrastructure for vehicles and bicycles that remove danger points from our roads and reduce conflict between road users.
“The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) earlier this month called on EU member states to prioritise the provision of separate cycling infrastructure to protect cyclists.
“The same ETSC report also highlights that speed is another critical factor for reducing collisions with cyclists and calls for the greater roll out of 30km/h speed limits in towns and cities. The clear message is motorists need to slow down, particularly in urban areas and during peak travel times.
“Not only will cyclists, and other vulnerable road users, have greater chances of survival if involved in a collision, slowing down will give drivers time and space to react, especially if they are distracted, and avoid a collision in the first place.”