New figures issued by Transport Scotland reveal Scotland’s roads are increasingly dangerous places for the country’s cyclists.
While the 8 cyclists killed across Scotland represents a drop of 38.5 per cent on totals for 2013, a total of 888 cyclists were injured in 2014 - a rise of 0.5 per cent on the previous year’s figures.
As to be expected, the vast majority of pedal cycle accidents took place in urban centres, with the majority of serious or slight injuries occuring in Glasgow City. A map released by Transport Scotland shows the propensity of accidents in Scotland’s three main cities along with the relative safety of the west coast and Highlands.
The Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2015 report issued earlier this month measures trends over a ten-year period relating to cars, cyclists, pedestrians and HGV and LGV drivers. Since 2004, 114 pedal cycle casualties have been reported to the police, with the largest spike in incidents occuring between 2010 and 2012.
Cyclists amounted to just 0.8 per cent of Scotland’s road traffic in this time, yet were involved with nearly ten times that number (7.9 per cent) of accidents. Rush-hour traffic between 8-9am and 5-6pm also yielded the most incidents, with the hours between 9pm and 6am statistically the safest time to ride regardless of rider location.
A closer look at accident figures shows that men between the ages of 30 and 50 were the most likely to be involved in a cycle accident, with the vast majority (83 per cent) involving at least one car. The biggest culprit for incidents involving cyclists was a driver or rider’s failure to look properly, with 13 per cent of incidents attributed to this reason. By contrast, only 1 per cent of accidents were a direct result of a slippery road, junction overshoot or not obeying an automatic traffic signal.
The cyclist accident figures have been announced as the Scottish Government’s “Road Safety Framework to 2020” intiative passes its halfway point. The policy’s flagship goals include a desire to reduce the number of people killed on Scotland’s roads by 40 per cent by 2020 and reduce the number of people seriously injured by 55 per cent within the same timeframe.