Motorists encouraged to be more "bike smart" for Road Safety Week

Riders and policy makers can help make roads safer, too

YOU DON’T need to be an expert to understand that cyclists and motorcyclists are more vulnerable than drivers, but new research has highlighted the shocking difference in risk between getting on a bike and climbing into a car.

Road safety charity Brake has revealed that those travelling on two wheels are 63 times more likely than drivers to be killed or seriously injured when out on the road.

This means a rider is killed or seriously injured on UK roads every hour, the charity says, with two thirds of deaths occurring on rural roads.

In an effort to help reduce casualties, as part of 2018’s Road Safety Week campaign Brake has launched a new “bike smart” campaign, encouraging motorists to be more aware of cyclists and motorcyclists.

Particular concern has been placed on the safety of motorbike riders. “The speeds motorcycles can travel are equal to those of cars and yet motorcycle riders do not have equal protection in the event of a crash,” Brake said.

The charity advises that drivers should adopt a variety of measures to keep bikers safe, including giving cyclists more space (Brake recommends car users should leave riders a 150cm gap when overtaking) and adopting the ‘Dutch reach’ technique when opening a car door.

But it’s not all the responsibility of car drivers, according to the charity. Bike users and motorcyclists can play their part by using “appropriate equipment” and making sure they ride in a safe manner.

Meanwhile, policy makers are implored to make roads safer for cyclists with new infrastructure and the use of new technologies.

Brake’s campaigns director Joshua Harris said: “Raising awareness about the safety of those on two wheels, who face much higher risk of death and serious injury than those in cars, is absolutely vital.

“With one bike rider being killed or seriously injured every hour in Britain, there is no better time for us all to be more ‘Bike Smart’.”

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