UK drivers and cyclists at war on the roads, warns leading safety charity
A leading road safety charity has released its annual Driving Safety Culture Report, revealing a worrying trend of aggression between motorists and cyclists on the UK’s roads.
The IAM RoadSmart survey of 2,010 UK motorists found that both aggressive cyclists and aggressive motorists were perceived as threats to personal safety by the majority of respondents, with 65% of drivers saying that they felt threatened by aggressive cyclists and 78% feeling the same about aggressive drivers.
The report also found that dangerous driving behaviours were becoming increasingly common, potentially putting millions of road users at risk.
These findings come after The Department for Transport’s latest road collision statistics showed that 1 in 12 of the 1,339 deaths on Britain’s roads in 2021 were linked to aggressive behaviour.
The conflict between motorists and cyclists was highlighted by the survey’s results, with 60% of those surveyed believing that aggressive cyclists are a bigger problem compared to three years ago, and 63% believing that aggressive motorists have become more of an issue over the same time period.
IAM RoadSmart’s Director of Policy and Research, Neil Greig, commented on the findings, stating, “There is no quick fix to this issue, but our research sheds light on the urgent need for the government to maintain its education campaigns on the new Highway Code, and continue to invest in safe road markings for more vulnerable road users to minimise the chance of conflict wherever possible.”
The survey also found that there was limited support for a new law that would assume the driver is always responsible for any collision with a cyclist or pedestrian in an urban area, with 61% of respondents against and only 39% in favour.
In recent years, the UK government has introduced a range of laws aimed at reducing conflict between motorists and cyclists.
However, the report’s results suggest that these measures may have had limited success in addressing the issue.
Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, commented:
“The government has introduced a range of laws in recent years in an effort to fix the daily conflicts we see between motorists and cyclists. However, if our research is anything to go by, this has largely been to no avail – with the majority of respondents still reporting aggression and conflict among road users.”
“All road users, whether on two or four wheels, should exercise calmness and restraint to help us all use Britain’s roads safely.”
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