There is no legal requirement to inform the police of single-vehicle collisions involving cyclists and as such these events will rarely be recorded in the injury collision records. 90% of all cyclist casualties were injured in collisions involving a car with a further 5% involving a goods vehicle. The goods vehicle figure is often higher in urban areas, notably in London, but the figure for Berkshire is only half the rate seen in the capital.
It is possible to analyse the contributory factors (CF) recorded by a police officer when completing the collision records. Individual CFs can be attributed to individual vehicles, including cyclists, which allows a basic analysis of the reasons for crashes. The following analysis only looks at collisions investigated at the scene by an officer and even then, only represents their initial thoughts on how the crash happened.
The collisions have been broken down into three categories; collisions where only cyclists were allocated CFs (Cyclist Fault), collisions where cyclists were not attributed CFs (Other Fault) and collisions where CFs were applied to both cyclists and the other vehicle(s) (Joint Fault).
Analysis of the three fault categories show that in half of all collisions, only the other vehicle was to blame with cyclists singularly responsible in 29% of collisions.
The most common cyclist faults were ‘Failed to look properly’ – 25%, ‘Failed to judge other’s path or speed‘ – 10%, and ‘Cyclist entering road from pavement’ – 9%.
The most common other vehicle faults were ‘Failed to look properly’ – 35%, ‘Failed to judge other’s path or speed‘ – 10%, and ‘Careless, reckless or in a hurry’ – 8%.
Where blame was shared the most common faults were ‘Failed to look properly’ – 30%, ‘Failed to judge other’s path or speed‘ – 8%, and ‘Cyclist wearing dark clothes at night’ – 7%.