NFCC supports Road Safety Week - Be Bike Smart

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Analysis released by Brake, the road safety charity, as part of this year's national Road Safety Week (19-25 November) has found that, on average those on two wheels face 63 times higher risk of being killed or seriously injured on British roads, per mile travelled, than car drivers.

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and fire and rescue services will be supporting the campaign and encouraging drivers to be 'Bike Smart' and be more aware of bikes by: slowing down, giving more time to spot danger and react; looking properly for bikes before pulling out at junctions; leaving at least 150cm between cars and a bike when overtaking; and by doing the ‘Dutch reach’, using the opposite hand to open a car door to help avoid ‘car dooring’ incidents.

Infographic Smart-drivers-are-Bike-Smart Dutch-reach

Cyclists and motorcyclists account for nearly 4 in 10 of all deaths and serious injuries on British roads, a total of 9,740 in 2017 or an average of one bike death or serious injury every hour. Bike deaths also make up more than a quarter of all British road deaths, with a total of 101 cyclist deaths and 349 motorcyclist deaths in 2017.
Two-thirds (301) of bike deaths in 2017, an average of 25 a month, took place on rural roads – the highest number of bike deaths on Britain’s rural roads for more than five years. Concerningly, the fatal crash risk facing bikes on rural roads – which accounts for miles travelled – is also at its highest since 2010.
A survey of more than 1,000 drivers, commissioned by Brake for Road Safety Week, has found that the majority of drivers (52%) feel that bike riders are most vulnerable on urban roads.  Department for Transport statistics, however, show that rural roads pose more than three times the risk of a fatal crash for both cyclists and motorcyclists, compared with urban roads. A survey of more than 2,000 motorcyclists by Road Safety Week sponsor Devitt Insurance Services, also found that 60% of motorcyclists surveyed felt vulnerable on urban roads, whereas only 14% said they felt vulnerable on rural roads.
  • On average, a cyclist or motorcyclist is killed or seriously injured every hour, on British roads.
  • Two thirds of bike deaths occur on our rural roads, with the fatal crash risk facing bikes on rural roads at its highest since 2010.
  • Most drivers (52%) believe that bike riders are most vulnerable on urban roads, but rural roads pose three times the risk of a fatal crash to bike riders.
  • The analysis marks the start of Road Safety Week (19–25 November), sponsored by Devitt Insurance Services and Ford, which this year urges people, particularly drivers, to be ‘Bike Smart’ to raise awareness about the safety of those on two wheels.
  • Communities and organisations across the UK take part in Brake’s Road Safety Week – case studies and photo and filming opportunities are available.

In addition to supporting the campaign via social media using the #BikeSmart, fire and rescue services will be promoting their Bike Down courses. Developed by Jim Sanderson at Kent Fire and Rescue Service the scheme has spread nationwide and there are more than 40 teams around the UK. These teams run the course both for motorcycle clubs and groups of individuals. For the year 2016 – 2017, 6,109 bikers attended the free Biker Down training throughout the UK.

The following courses are schehduled for the next week:

  • Tuesday 20 November: South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Wednesday 21 November: Kent; East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
  • Thursday 22 November: Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire and Rescue Service,  Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service
  • Friday 23 November: Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Saturday 24 November: Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire and Rescue Service; London Fire Brigade, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service; Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Sunday 25 November: Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Monday 26 November: Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

See @BikerDownUK on Facebook for more information. 

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