Charity, DriveSafe has called on all road users to be more mindful of cyclists following a 10 per cent increase in the number killed or injured on UK roads in the last year. The Birmingham-based charity was 'appalledî at the latest figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) that showed 3,530 cyclists were killed or suffered serious injuries in the 12 months leading up to June. In the same time period 9,000 drivers and car passengers were either killed or seriously injured.æ This figure was also an increase of four per cent, as was the seven per cent increase in motorcyclists suffering the same fate (with 5,510).æ The figures for pedestrians changed little at 5,570. Overall, 1,760 people in the UK were killed in road accidents. Fay Goodman, founder of DriveSafe, said: 'The latest road accident figures are appalling and can't simply be explained away by increased usage of the roads in warmer spring weather this year, as the Department for Transport has suggested. 'We need not only slower traffic speeds, safer routes and better policing, but also greater courtesy, consideration and understanding between different road users. 'Lives are being shattered by motorists who text at the wheel, cyclists who ride side by side on busy roads and pedestrians who don't always look when they cross the road. 'That is why we are urging companies to send their employees on driver safety courses and campaigning for road safety to be made part of the national curriculum. 'We want children to be able to go to school safely by foot or bike so that we can also tackle the problem of obesity, ease the strain on the NHS, and reduce congestion around schools.î DriveSafe is currently encouraging drivers to make an increased effort to look out for cyclists, with the winter evenings drawing in and temperatures falling: both of which are known causes of visibility issues. The charity currently has 10 top tips for helping motorists avoid close calls with cyclists:
- Ensuring a full clear field of vision when the sun is low
- Having extra sunglasses with you in case of the same situation
- Allow extra time before leaving to clear any ice and snow from the car
- Regularly checking to ensure all your lights are working
- Checking that your tyres have enough tread (at least 3mm is recommended for winter).
- Taking notes of any blackspots in advance
- Matching your speed to the conditions
- Taking extra care when manoeuvring your car when roads are slippery
- Taking more time to look out for cyclists at junctions and in low light
- Be aware of cyclists moving up the side of the car.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has published a document setting out the work logistics companies are currently carrying out to improve safety on Britain's roads.æ For more information, click here.