Todays’ Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs), including cyclists, are second-class citizens in traffic. They suffer a disproportionate share of serious injuries and fatalities and, in recent years, these disadvantages have been grown.
They are disadvantaged as part of the vehicle flow because they are generally not detected by traffic signals, in contrast to motorized vehicles.
According to the European Road Safety Observatory, there are some main issues regarding cyclists’ safety that need to be addressed.
- Around 2000 people riding bicycles are killed every year in traffic accidents in Europe;
- Very young as well as older cyclists appear to be more vulnerable;
- Cycling and walking have a fatality risk per distance travelled 7-9 times higher than car travel;
- Despite a reduction of accidents and fatalities, in many European countries cyclists have a stable or increasing rate of accidents and injuries;
- The increasing presence of e-bikes on the market makes bicycles competing with cars for trips of increasing lengths. The issue of interactions between more and faster bikes, ridden by different cyclists, and heavy vehicles will become crucial;
- 1 out of 4 of the cyclists killed in the EU die as result of collisions with Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs)
- The most fatal crash type is the collision with a motorized vehicle;
- Collisions with motorized vehicles happen more likely during the daytime. The future deployment of electric vehicles can cause less noise emissions, which may cause a more difficult vehicles detection for cyclists, then leading to a higher collision risk between cyclists and vehicles;
- 35% of cyclist fatalities take place at junctions. In comparison, only 15% of car occupant and 20% of pedestrian fatalities occurred at junctions;
- In European countries where bicycle use is more prevalent, the risk for the safety of cyclists is lower.