Are the Roads Getting Less Dangerous for Cyclists? Trends 2003-2015

Important statistics have been published recently concerning road traffic incidents, and the resulting death and injuries, occurring in Bristol during 2015 (Bristol Emergency Hospital Admissions 2003 – 2015)

Key facts for 2015:

  • 71 pedestrians admitted to hospital following road traffic incidents, lowest number for 5 years and below the long-term yearly average of 78. The reduction was due to fewer incidents involving all vehicles except cars and vans.
  • 69 of those pedestrians were injured by motorised vehicles, 2 due to collisions with cyclists.
  • 38 cyclists admitted to hospital, again the lowest for some years but close to the long-term average (39).
  • 0 of these 38 admissions were recorded as being the result of collisions with buses or HGVs. 4 were the result of collisions with other cyclists – reinforcing the message at Bristol Cycling’s AGM that cyclists need to do more to look out for each other.
  • 102 the number of cyclists injured in collisions with fixed or stationary objects or injured in “non-collision transport accidents” e.g. as a result of ice or wind.

Council Analysis of Police Collision Reports 2015

These are considered less reliable than hospital stat.s and known to seriously under-record the real number of incidents but, unlike the former, they do record incidents where the casualty suffered a more minor injury not requiring a stay in hospital.

Key facts:

  • 206 incidents involving death or injury to pedestrians, 2 of them fatal. The long-term yearly average of all such incidents is 246.
  • 250 incidents involving injury to cyclists, similar to the long-term average.

What is very interesting is the work done by the Council’s Strategic Transport Department to compare cycling collision incidents with the distance cycled by Bristol residents [3].

Key facts:

  • 68 million km to 134 million km, the estimated increase in the distance cycled each year by residents between 2006 and 2015.
  • 3.5 to under 2.0, the number of collisions involving injury, you can expect to be involved in per 1 million km cycled.

Sounds like good news, but let’s not forget that a too many people are still killed or injured on Bristol’s roads every year and we’ve still a long way to go before we can claim to have safe roads.

1. Bristol Emergency Admissions to hospital due to transport related accidents 2003 – 2015
2. Interpreted Listing of Police Road Traffic Incident Reports 2015 – BCC Strategic Transport
3. Spreadsheet showing cycle distances and collisions per million km cycled – BCC Strategic Transport 2016