Cycling is one of the healthiest and most environmentally-friendly forms of travel, but sadly many do not feel safe to cycle on roads. Use this page to access research on measures to make roads safer for cyclists and encourage more people to get on their bikes.
Cross-comparison of three surrogate safety methods to diagnose cyclist safety problems at intersections in Norway
Lund University, Sweden, 08/06/16
Automated means of diagnosing of cycling safety problems and hazards is the way forward in developing long-term safety measures, finds Lund University.
New functional pavements for pedestrians and cyclists
Technical Research Insitute, Sweden, 18/05/16
New paving surfaces designed with cyclist and pedestrian safety in mind have shown the potential to decrease the severity of head injuries.
Cycling Near Misses: Their frequency, impacts, and prevention
University of Westminster, England, 15/06/16
Cyclists are at risk on shared road space from a ‘might is right’ road culture, according to research from the University of Westminster.
Using mental mapping to unpack perceived cycling risk
Department of Civil Engineering, Galway, Ireland, 4/01/16
Perceived cycle-route risks, explored through mental mapping, broadly align with actual cycling collisions, particularly at roundabouts, finds the College of Engineering and Informatics.
How do drivers overtake cyclists?
CHALMERS – University of Technology, Sweden, 21/12/15
Oncoming vehicles have the biggest effect on the way in which drivers overtake cyclists on rural roads.
New study: What is a cyclist?
Cycling Embassy of Denmark, 9/12/15
Almost all Danes regard themselves as experienced cyclists, even if they more commonly use other forms of transport, which has implications for how campaigning to encourage cycling should be developed, finds the Danish Cyclists’ Federation.
Cycle to Work scheme boosting employee health and wellbeing across UK
Cycle to Work Alliance, 7/12/15
Most employees involved in Cycle to Work schemes in the UK find that the schemes improve their productivity as well as health and fitness.
OP81 Does active commuting protect against obesity in mid-life?
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, 13/11/15
Middle-aged people in the UK who commute on foot or bike tend to have less body fat than those who do not use active means, finds this article in The Lancet.
What does bike life mean to you?
Sustrans, UK, Oct 15
Three quarters of people want the government to invest more in cycling infrastructure, finds a major survey of attitudes towards cycling in seven UK cities.
Bicycling injury hospitalisation rates in Canadian jurisdictions: analyses examining associations with helmet legislation and mode share
School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Canada, 12/10/15
Cycling hospitalisation rates are not reduced by helmet legislation, but could be reduced by increasing cycling mode share.
Car driver attitudes, perceptions of social norms and aggressive driving behaviour towards cyclists
University of Western Australia, 10/08/15
Drivers with negative views of cyclists are associated with aggressive driving towards cyclists.
“Put the blame on…others!”: The battle of cyclists against pedestrians and car drivers at the urban environment. A cyclists’ perception study
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, 08/08/15
Cyclists who have access to a car are more likely to blame pedestrians for conflicts compared to those that do not.
The choice to report cycling crashes to the police and hospitals in Denmark: the role of attitudes, norms and perceived difficulty
14th International Conference on Travel Behaviour Research, 19-23 July 2015
The rate at which cyclists report crashes and injuries to hospitals or the police varies significantly, with reasons including social norms and the ease of reporting.
The Dutch road to a high level of cycling safety
Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Netherlands, 22/06/15
The Netherlands has seen a 80% drop in cyclist deaths per mile cycled in the last 30 years due to factors including an infrastructure where cyclists are kept separate from other road users.
Investigating the rates and impacts of near misses and related incidents among UK cyclists
University of Westminster, 12/06/15
Near-misses and other frightening incidents are an everyday experience for UK cyclists, potentially impacting significantly on cycling uptake.
Injury patterns and features of cycling fatalities in South Australia
The University of Adelaide, 09/06/15
The number of cyclists on Australia’s roads doubled between 2002 and 2013, yet the number of deaths has remained constant.
Experiment lifts lid on where drivers are looking
Direct Line, 26/05/15
Drivers failed to notice 22% of cyclists on the road, in an experiment using eye-tracking technology to see where drivers’ vision is focused.
Traffic Sounds and Cycling Safety: The Use of Electronic Devices by Cyclists and the Quietness of Hybrid and Electric Cars
SWOV Institute of Road Safety Research, the Netherlands, 09/03/15
Listening to music and using mobile phones increase cyclists' self-reported crash risk, and quiet electric vehicles pose a risk.
Risk factors for cycling accident related injury: The UK Cycling for Health Survey
University College London, 28/1/15
Half (54%) of UK cyclists have had an injury in the past five years while cycling.
The relation between speed environment, age and injury outcome for bicyclists struck by a motorized vehicle – a comparison with pedestrians
Lund University, Sweden, 20/1/15
In crashes under 20mph (30 km/h), cyclists are more likely to be injured than pedestrians.
The Benefits of Getting England Cycling
Leeds University, 01/01/15
Investing in cycling above government targets in the UK could have economic benefits of more than £6bn a year by 2025.
Who, where when: the demographic and geographic distribution of bicycle crashes in West Yorkshire
Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds, 2015
Young cyclists are disproportionately more likely to be injured in high-risk areas compared to other groups.
Employers urged: take action to help tackle pedestrian and cyclist casualties
Brake and Licence Bureau, 15/10/2014
More than half (58%) of employers with staff who drive for work do not provide driver education on protecting pedestrians and cyclists.
Survey reveals walking and cycling worries
Brake and Churchill Insurance, 26/09/14
Two-thirds (64%) of UK drivers think local roads are unsafe for families to walk and cycle.
Identifying Risk Factors for Cyclists in the Australian Capital Territory
Monash University, 30/09/14
91% of cyclist-vehicle crashes over six months in two Australian cities were down to driver error, the most common being drivers turning across cyclists’ paths.
Active commuting improves wellbeing
University of East Anglia, 15/09/14
People who commute by walking, cycling or public transport have better concentration and are less stressed than car commuters.
Influence of road markings, lane widths and driver behaviour on proximity and speed of vehicles overtaking cyclists
University of Leeds, 14/09/14
Wider lanes, removal of centre-line markings, and lower speed limits encourage drivers to slow down and leave more space when overtaking cyclists on urban roads.
Barriers to bikesharing : an analysis from Melbourne and Brisbane
Queensland University of Technology, 01/09/14
More widely spread public bicycle hire docking stations would encourage use by people whose home and work locations are further apart.
Bike share's impact on car use
Queensland University of Technology, 25/07/14
Public bicycle hire schemes in the US and Australia have been effective in reducing car use.
Make streets safer for cycling to build on Tour de France fever
Brake and RSA Group, 03/07/14
One in four (23%) UK teenagers never cycle, and four in ten (39%) who would like to cycle more say lack of safe routes discourages them.
Kids want to get active
Brake and Direct Line, 11/06/14
Three quarters (76%) of UK children would like to walk and cycle more, but more than half (56%) worry about being run over when walking or cycling.
Local area walking and cycling in England: 2012 to 2013
Department for Transport, 29/04/14
In the year to October 2013 14.7% of adults in England cycled at least once a month, down slightly from the previous year.
Safety in numbers? Investigating Australian driver behaviour, knowledge and attitudes towards cyclists
Monash University, 25/04/14
Australian drivers who cycle are 1.5 times more likely to undertake safe driving behaviours towards cyclists than drivers who do not cycle.
Driver behavior during bicycle passing maneuvers
Wayne State University, 02/04/14
A sign encouraging drivers to “share the road” with cyclists reduced vehicle speeds by 2.5mph (4km/h) on that stretch of road but did not increase the space drivers allowed when passing cyclists.
Assessing Demand for An Automated Community Shuttle Service
University of Michigan, 28/02/14
Introducing a shuttle bus and cycle lanes to train and bus stations could reduce car use in Chicago by up to 53%.
Effects of a cycle training course on children's cycling skills and levels of cycling to school
Ghent University, 04/02/14
A cycle training scheme for Belgian children improved their cycling skills long-term but did not increase the numbers of children cycling to school.
Bicyclist safety performance functions for a U.S. city
University of Colorado, 03/01/14
Cyclist collision rates decrease as numbers of cyclists increase, supporting the ‘safety in numbers’ theory.
The influence of a bicycle commuter's appearance on drivers’ overtaking proximities
University of Bath, 22/11/13
Cyclist vests warning drivers they are novice cyclists do not prevent close overtakes by drivers.
Engineering measures in New York City have increased cycling and reduced road deaths
New York Department of Transportation, 04/10/13
Engineering measures aimed at improving cyclist and pedestrian safety in New York City have increased year-round cycling by 58% since 2008, and reduced road deaths without increasing travel times.
South Central Edinburgh 20mph Limit Pilot Evaluation
City of Edinburgh Council, 27/08/13
Children cycling to school rose from 4% to 12%, and those allowed to play outside their homes rose from 31% to 66%, following introduction of 20mph (32km/h) limits in South Edinburgh, Scotland.
Deaths and serious injuries on roads in Great Britain fell by 1% in 2012
Department for Transport, 27/06/13
Deaths and serious injuries on roads in Great Britain fell by 1% in 2012, although cyclist deaths rose by 10% and cyclist serious injuries rose by 4%.
Lower speed limits and more segregated cycle paths recommended to encourage UK cycling
All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, 04/06/13
20mph urban speed limits, lower speeds on rural roads and more segregated cycle paths would encourage more cycling in the UK.
Cyclists overestimate night-time visibility & underestimate benefits of reflective strips
Queensland University of Technology, 31/05/13
Cyclists overestimate their night-time visibility to drivers and underestimate the benefits of reflective clothing.
Drivers should let cyclists out first at traffic lights
Beijing Jiaotong University, 11/10/12
Letting cyclists out first at traffic lights is better at protecting cyclists and preventing queues than providing cycle lanes at junctions.
Cycling should be made safer to both reduce deaths and encourage uptake
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 02/10/12
In the UK the risk of death from inactivity is higher than from cycling but to address both risks cycling should be made safer to encourage uptake.
Safer roads needed to nurture future Olympic cyclists
More than half UK parents won’t allow their child to cycle unsupervised when they reach 12 due to traffic danger, and three quarters of parents say they would cycle as a family if there was 20mph zones and cycle paths.
Commuters call for safer streets for cycling
Two in three UK commuters say most roads are unfit for cyclists for safety reasons such as lack of cycle paths and high traffic speeds.
Understanding walking and cycling
Lancaster University, 03/10/11
80% of non-cyclists in urban areas of the UK say poor safety is a key reason for not cycling.
Dangerous by design: solving the epidemic of preventable pedestrian deaths 2011
Transportation for America, 10/06/11
Pedestrian lives would be saved by comprehensive investment in traffic-free infrastructure, particularly pavements, crossings and cycle paths.
Unprotected road users - a key concern of road safety
The European Transport Safety Council, 27/05/11
Unprotected road users represented 44% of all road deaths across Europe during the period 2001-2009.
Safer routes are the key to getting one in five of us cycling
An additional one in five UK adults could be persuaded to cycle if there were cycle paths connecting their home and local amenities.
Active commuting to school and cognitive performance in adolescents
Spanish National Research Council, 06/12/10
Walking or cycling to school improves cognitive performance in adolescent females.
Collisions involving pedal cyclists on Britain’s roads: establishing the causes
Transport Research Laboratory, 14/02/10
Cyclists need protecting from drivers; the most common cause of cyclist casualties is drivers failing to look properly.
Cycle safety: reducing the crash risk report 389
New Zealand Transport Agency, 09/11/09
Low speeds (20mph / 30kph) are necessary for safety on roads where cycling is encouraged.
The effect of cycle lanes on the proximity between motor traffic and cycle traffic
University of Leeds, 14/09/09
Reducing the speed and volume of UK traffic would improve cycle safety more than narrow cycle lanes.
Pedestrian and bicyclist safety effects of the California safe routes to school program
UC Berkeley Traffic Safety Center, 01/04/08
Walking and cycling to school increased while pedestrian and cyclist collisions decreased as a result of the California Safe Routes to School Program.
Planning for cycling
SQW Consulting, UK, 01/03/08
Planners should incorporate safe routes for cyclists into transport plans.
International comparison of roundabout design
International comparison of roundabout design advises roundabouts with pedestrian crossings and cyclist traffic lights at entrances.
The effects of roundabouts on traffic safety for cyclists: An observational study
Hasselt University, 14/09/07
The conversion of intersections into roundabouts in urban areas was found in this study to produce a 27% increase in the number of injury accidents involving cyclists.
Unfit for Purpose
Institute for European Environmental Policy, UK, 23/08/07
Car exclusion zones within half-mile of schools and shops would encourage children to walk and cycle to combat increases in car use and decreases in walking.